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CIA Accused: Sen. Feinstein Sees Torture Probe Meddling 187

Posted by timothy
from the taking-the-heat-off-that-other-agency dept.
SternisheFan writes with this news from the Washington Post: "In an extraordinary public accusation, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee declared on Tuesday that the CIA interfered with and then tried to intimidate a congressional investigation into the agency's possible use of torture in terror probes during the Bush administration. The CIA clandestinely removed documents and searched a computer network set up for lawmakers, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein in a long and biting speech on the Senate floor. In an escalating dispute with an agency she has long supported, she said the CIA may well have violated criminal laws and the U.S. Constitution."
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CIA Accused: Sen. Feinstein Sees Torture Probe Meddling

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:14PM (#46460703)

    And I'm not referring to the people who keep voting for Feinstein, either.

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:43PM (#46460801) Journal

      They are of the same kind, not dupes.

      On one side we got scumbags.

      On the other side we got assholes.

      In other words, it's a showdown between the scumbags and the assholes.

      Assholes accusing scumbags of torturing people, but in the meantime it was the assholes who defended the scumbags when they violated the Constitutions, ignoring the Bill of Rights, invading the privacy of Hundreds of Millions of the American Citizens, and billions more people outside of America.

      • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:57PM (#46460849)

        Assholes accusing scumbags of torturing people, but in the meantime it was the assholes who defended the scumbags when they violated the Constitutions, ignoring the Bill of Rights, invading the privacy of Hundreds of Millions of the American Citizens, and billions more people outside of America.

        No, I think it is far simpler than that.
        We have a bunch of people who think anything goes "for the good of the country" (in the name of War on [*Something*]), until the second it affects them directly. Then, they suddenly remember laws/Constitution/human rights/etc.
        This is not new, for example Video Privacy Protection Act [wikipedia.org].

        • by s.petry (762400) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @12:58AM (#46461243)

          Except it's not "for the good of the country", that's just the rhetorical propaganda used constantly. It is usually for the good of themselves, followed by their kind. Plenty of documentation exists in this regard, such as passing laws contrary to their election platform to generate campaign contributions. Worse in my opinion is using tax money to set up and run fund raisers, like Obama has done on every single trip he has ever taken to California where he does nothing else.

          It's hard for people to see the rhetoric as propaganda since it's repeated all the time. I know many people that are happy to see Obama come to the SF Bay area 4 times a year to set up 20K plus a plate dinners, because they think he's working on his 1 day junkets. Why? Because the TV media refuses to discuss it or tell people what he's really doing for the most part. Our "Talk" radio stations discuss it but, well, it's talk radio and has a select audience.

          Anyway, I don't think you are necessarily wrong but neither was the person you responded to. Pretty much, everything these people do is for self benefit and self preservation. They will use any sales pitch that works toward that end and they will continue until people wise up. I believe people are catching on to whats happening.

          • It is pretty clear that many in the ruling elites redefine terms in ways that the general public doesn't understand. That to people like Feinstein "the country" in the line "for the good of the country" means the ruling elite not the general public. Which is a big part of why she can say having the NSA spy on everyone all the time is "for the good of the country" while at the same time going ape shit over the spying impacting herself and the other members of the elite is a catastrophe. The worst part about

          • by cusco (717999)

            using tax money to set up and run fund raisers, like Obama has done on every single trip he has ever taken to California where he does nothing else.

            In all fairness, this has been SOP since at least Reagan's term in office (probably earlier as well, but I wasn't really aware of politics before then). Shrubby was particularly bad about it.

            • by s.petry (762400)
              Two wrongs don't make a right and all that.
              • See also "nice guys finish last".
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @02:21AM (#46461477)

          The Guardian:
          Once you have told operatives to take their gloves off and fight dirty on the road they don't just start playing by Queensbury rules at home.

          Those openly called on to flout international law in the interests of a higher good do not then suddenly submit that goal to domestic law once they've gone through customs. Once the state has deliberately created space for power to be exercised without accountability those who occupy that space will protect it against enemies domestic and foreign. When your war is global and unending it inevitably comes home and keeps going. The monster the US has unleashed on the rest of the world is steadily devouring its own.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by KingOfBLASH (620432)

          Eh it's a little more complicated than that. The autobiography of John Rizzo (General Counsel, CIA) after he retired basically states that the CIA made a tactical decision after Iran Contra to stop getting involved in stuff. Then Sep-11 happened.

          As the CIA had literally no other intel than a couple of hard nosed al queda birds, it decided that it needed to torture people to save lives.

          Funny thing is it probably did save lives. But the ends do not always justify the means. And really it shows just how th

          • Iran Contra is a good example of what is the problem with the CIA. They believe they are a covert military force and diplomatic wing of government, and NOT an intelligence gathering service. Because of this, after Iran Contra, they just pulled out of everything including the basics of intelligence gathering that would generate actionable intelligence.

            The vietnam war murky start was due to it growing out of CIA lead military actions. In many ways a more up front decision decision in government about if there

            • by dbIII (701233)

              Because of this, after Iran Contra, they just pulled out of everything

              Did you sleep through the 1980s and 90s or were you born yesterday?

            • so it was some other CIA that was gathering weapons in Libya to send to Syria, and the CIA didn't have "The Annex" that got attacked in Benghazi? That whole shitpile was totally the CIA's fault...they used the confusion of the changing CIA Directors to covertly set up this weapon-moving system over there, and finally they got infiltrated and attacked. I also doubt either Obama or Clinton had any idea of the operation...although Clinton is Head of the State Department and is supposed to be liable for their
          • by dbIII (701233)

            John Rizzo (General Counsel, CIA) after he retired basically states that the CIA made a tactical decision after Iran Contra to stop getting involved in stuff

            Does he expect us to be that naive?
            It's like saying "Yes officer, I've never committed any crimes apart from those that made the front page for a month - ignore all the ones I got caught on that were only in the news for a week"

          • That was a fantastic book, and one of his assertions that should really be discussed is how the current administration found the "enhanced interrogation" program so repugnant, yet has no problem blowing up people with drones whether non-targets are hit with the missile or not.

            Yeah, "walling" someone is far worse than collapsing a building on them.

      • You sir, seem to have explained basically what is happening in the madhouse full of "representatives" that we "graciously" sent to there with the actual impression they would do something.

        Unfortunately, there seems to be no end to this ass-hole plugging up ass-hole business...

        And you wonder why Washington opposed a partisan system of government.

      • On one side we got scumbags.

        On the other side we got assholes.

        It is not that simple. There are also people like Feinstein that are both scumbags and assholes. She combines the worst of the left (massive debt-funded, job-killing entitlements) with the worst of the right (sanctimonious moral authoritarianism). I have never heard of a "big government" program that she doesn't support. No one was a bigger apologist for the NSA's intrusion in the privacy of mere peasants. But as soon as they violate the privacy of the political royalty, she is outraged. As a Californ

    • by sconeu (64226)

      Yeah, it's not like anyone has posted this story to Slashdot today [slashdot.org].

    • Re:I smell a dupe (Score:4, Informative)

      by shentino (1139071) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @11:53PM (#46461059)

      This isn't a dupe, it's an escalation of the same story that happened after the original was already posted.

      Rather like how they broke news of TEPCO's reactors as a separate story from the tsunami.

    • I hate to encourage this sort of thing, but I do enjoy the difference between night crowd and day crowd.

      As we have seen posted here, the first replies and moderation will influence later readers' opinions on who is an idiot. This takes very similar replies into quite a different discussion. Statistics would say that opinions would be predictable, but pure chance on who happens to moderate and post make all the difference.

      Speaking of beta, it might be worth posting new stories at the bottom, so that more peo

      • it's called "bias", go watch BBC.Horizon.2014.How.You.Really.Make.Decisions. They do several experiments showing how the first "data" about a new topic you receive influences all further decisions, even if they don't match up with reality. In fact, they even have an intelligence data-analyst simulation about a cyber-attack that all but one analyst (a raw trainee) totally blew it due to how the scenario presented the data.
  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:32PM (#46460751) Journal

    The NSA hates the CIA

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      US cryto has had a long and strange history. From a low point in the 1920-30's with funding, massive Army and Navy duplication in code breaking, playing catch up trying to understand Germany and Japan in ww2.
      Korea was a another few years re learning basic interception and plotting (ie having to be helped by the GCHQ/UK).
      Near the end of Vietnam some real amazing efforts in interception, understanding and plotting Soviet tech in Asia seemed to finally be ready.
      Most of the NSA efforts seem to be around sell
    • The NSA hates the CIA

      Well yeah, in the first season. But Sarah and John eventually get along.

  • it's a dupe. (Score:3, Informative)

    by strstr (539330) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:41PM (#46460795)

    CIA hiding torture of Americans....

    CIA operating all over American soil. The surveillance game allows them to control Senators, Congressman, citizens, police, and others alike, although I personally believe the Senators and police are in on it.

    NSA is in on it.

    Details on CIA/NSA surveillance abuses beyond Snowden, including space and satellite capability: http://www.oregonstatehospital... [oregonstatehospital.net]

    • by El Puerco Loco (31491) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @11:00PM (#46460863)

      Forget the CIA and NSA, if you want to see tyranny, nothing beats homeowners' associations.

      • Sure. My parents accidentally missed an HOA payment and then they got extraordinarily renditioned and water boarded.

        They then complained loudly and then had to serve a few years at a prison camp.

        Oh wait, HOAs don't do that. Evil? Sure. Worse than TLA agencies? No.

    • by Sir Holo (531007)
      Schizophrenia is a saddening disease.
  • power (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BradMajors (995624) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:42PM (#46460799)

    We will see who is more power, Congress or the CIA. The answer will be the CIA.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      We will see who is more power, Congress or the CIA. The answer will be the CIA.

      There have been plenty of times before that congress has had to punish agencies that have gone too far. See: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978

      I fail to see how this time will be any different.

      If you REALLY manage to piss-off Congress, you don't get ANY more money. NONE. Three-letter agencies with no money don't have power for long.

      • That's assuming those 3 letter agencies don't have pictures of every single congressman on the hill in bed with every prostitute in Singapore. Given the assets of the NSA/CIA how long would it take you to invent blackmail on any particular congressman? I'm pretty sure I'd be done in about 10min.

        • by bmacs27 (1314285)
          Which is why we need someone to clearly explain the relative importance of personal impropriety and bad policy making. Most of the rest of the world understands this. Once the electorate gets over their prudishness about sex and drugs we can get back the business of actually governing.
        • by evilviper (135110)

          Blackmail is a gun you can only shoot once... Plenty of politicians have survived bigger scandals.

          And don't forget the public is savvy enough about digital image manipulation that the evidence could be put into question long enough to get everyone through to the next budget vote, where all the three letter agencies get axed. Besides, a scandal only means no reelection... If you're obstant enough, you still finish out your term, and get to keep making laws.

        • Have you been paying attention?

          You can't get elected, unless they have some dirt on you. They don't have to invent dirt on any politician.

  • How fitting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:51PM (#46460829)

    ...for Feinstien, of all people, to get in a hissy about somebody breaking laws and violating the Constitution.

    She doesn't even get out of bed in the morning without trying to think up five new ways to break laws and violate the Constitution.

    Maybe we can send her and the CIA agents responsible to the same remote, desert island.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Maybe we can send her and the CIA agents responsible to the same remote, desert island.

      Insufficiently remote. They might make it back. I propose the first manned mission to Europa. Right now.

      It's true, we will contaminate the planet if the ship actually lands. No need for that. All it needs, really, is a whole bunch of airlocks.

  • But..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @11:01PM (#46460865) Homepage Journal

    She calls US paranoid for thinking that the government would ever trample our rights.

    LK

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @11:09PM (#46460913)

    How's your own medicine taste now?

    PS: DIAF.

  • by MonsterMasher (518641) <Steven.Work@uvm.edu> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @11:17PM (#46460943)

    How quickly we forget. The CIA erased all the torture (interrogation!) interviews, and was pardoned.
    No, the assholes that should be hung by balls will never see a jail.

  • Elitist America (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Required Snark (1702878) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @11:32PM (#46460987)
    Welcome to our new unequal 21st century America.

    If you are not a member of one of various elites, you have no expectation of privacy, protection under the law, or economic security.

    If you are a wealthy investor, top tier business executive, elected to a nationwide office, or famous and rich for any reason, your wealth and position will be protected by the economic, political, and military might of the US. Note: entertainers, particularly pro-athletes and popular musicians, can be dropped at any time. Heavily right wing affiliation will keep you in good standing. See Steven Seagal and Ted Nugent for examples.

    The only real crime is interfering with a member of the elite. You can have every economic transaction, phone call, medical record, license plate tracking data and email in a secret database, but if anyone spies on a Member of Congress heads will roll, bureaucrats will loose their jobs and institutional budgets will be slashed.

    Suck it up. You count for nothing.

    • by DaHat (247651)

      If you are not a member of one of various elites, you have no expectation of privacy, protection under the law, or economic security.

      I feel quite dirty even thinking about defending Senator Feinstein... but she has a point... though I don't know if she's making it as she could.

      In the US we are taught that we have three co-equal branches (it's really two with a lessor third, but I digress)... so one branch secretly spying on/impeding a second... is not quite kosher... at least with the FBI raid on the congr

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        In an escalating dispute with an agency she has long supported, she said the CIA may well have violated criminal laws and the U.S. Constitution.

        I feel quite dirty even thinking about defending Senator Feinstein... but she has a point... though I don't know if she's making it as she could.

        No, Feinstein doesn't have a point. If she hadn't been an ardent supporter of the CIA for years while knowing of their malfeasance for years then she might. She's just a fucking hypocrite, just like she is on gun control (armed guards and carries a pistol, doesn't want the average Californian to be able to carry a pistol.) Feinstein is an evil harpy of a woman who has only her own best interests in mind. If she doesn't distance herself from her beloved CIA, they will only drag her down. Never listen to Dian

        • If she had any evidence, she'd be hauling them in front of her committee by power of subpoena. She just happens to be the chairwoman of the Permanent Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. She could have them subpoena'd and sworn in to testify under pains of perjury within the week.

          She has no evidence, so she's making noise in a floor speech. Not surprising for one of the biggest blowhards inside the beltway.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            If she had any evidence, she'd be hauling them in front of her committee by power of subpoena.

            I sincerely doubt it. That would be doing something positive and it's nothing she's known for.

    • by rnturn (11092)

      Can't remember who said it but it went something like:

      "Yes, there is a club. No, you(*) are not a member."

      Something to keep in mind.

      (*) - Meaning: folks like us.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Can't remember who said it but it went something like:

        "Yes, there is a club. No, you(*) are not a member."

        George Carlin

        It's from his American Dream [youtube.com] speech.

    • by slapout (93640)

      Heavily right wing affiliation will cause you to be audited by the IRS

      Fixed it for you.

    • Right wing affiliation? Are you kidding? That gets you audited these days - look at Dr. Ben Carson as an example.

  • There are times when I sincerely believe we, as a nation, don't deserve the Constitution we were given.

  • by coaxial (28297) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @12:04AM (#46461107) Homepage

    Personally, I find it unlikely that the CIA would do something so ham handed and transparent. And yet, since the War on Terror and the idea that anything goes when the people you're drowning don't wear matching hats, the CIA and the entire IC has lost all credibility, that I can't dismiss the allegation.

    That said, Feinstein is a out of touch 80 year-old that thinks mass surveillance is cool [latimes.com], but at the same time gets upset when the IC spies on allies (like everyone else does) [theguardian.com], and when spy on her [nytimes.com].

    As a Democrat and a Californian, I say Fuck Feinstein.

    • Anyone who was idiot enough to vote for this woman yet again gets exactly what they deserve. Unfortunately, they also afflicted those of us outside of California with this bullshit.

      Thanks again, California!

      • They really have no choice. She's in a heavily democratic district (yaaaa gerrymandering!) so the only person who can beat her is another democrat and the DNC won't let that happen.

  • by mbone (558574) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @12:22AM (#46461181)

    I do not like Feinstein much, but I do not think that people here are getting just what a big deal this is.

    Senator Dianne Feinstein just went nuclear on the CIA.

    Just savor that for a minute.

    • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:45AM (#46462575) Journal

      No, she didn't.

      Blowing hot air on the Senate floor during the absence of a quorum isn't "going nuclear" - it's blowing hot air in order to generate headlines.

      She's the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Going nuclear would be issuing Congressional subpoenas to Agency officials to be sworn in and testify in front of her committee in open hearings, which she has complete power to do. But, you don't do that unless you have a little thing called "evidence" - doing so would just make her look like even more of a complete jackass, if that's even possible.

      • I don't think these people give a shit about being called before Congress. Clapper lied under oath to Congress and exactly dick happened to him. The intelligence agencies are in no way responsible to the people nor to the people who supposedly represent the people. Hence, no functional democracy exists in the US.

        • Technically, he wasn't under oath.

          Most of the time they aren't actually sworn in, unless the committee is on the warpath. If they swear you in, then you're in for a bruising.

  • Pit bull (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strikethree (811449) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @01:49AM (#46461387) Journal

    If you create a mean and vicious pit bull, do not be surprised when it turns around and bites you. D'oh!

  • I saw it coming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blindseer (891256) <blindseer AT earthlink DOT net> on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @02:45AM (#46461549)

    Finally someone in Congress speaks up about the overreach of the executive branch. What boggles my mind is why Congress talks so much about it but does so little. These executive agencies exist only because Congress allow them to. If Congress wants them to stop then they should make it stop. One sure way to make it stop is to dissolve the agency responsible.

    The issue of government spying is, IMHO, a symptom of professional politicians. Senator Feinstein has spent her entire life in government. She knows nothing about living a life outside of the privileges of a government paycheck. She must think she's "better" than those that voted her into office. That she's "more equal" than the other animals.

    I used to think that no one should be able to serve more than two terms in the same office. Now I think that no one should be able to serve more than one. The terms "re-election" and "incumbent" should be foreign to us. There are more than 300 million people in this country, it's nearly statistically impossible that we cannot find someone better for the job than her. She's 80 years old and has served as a Senator for 22 years, it's time she retired.

    So, Senator, you don't like the government spying on you? Welcome to the party, there's a lot of us that don't like the government spying on us. The difference between you, Senator, and me is that you can make it all go away with a vote. As a Senator you can have anyone you deem responsible fired, including the President of the United States.

    I know you won't though, Senator, because the people that are spying on you work for the same entity that you work for. I don't mean the federal government, I mean the Democrat Party. If there was a Republican POTUS right now you wouldn't be talking to reporters right now, you'd be hauling people in front of a Senate committee and have them answering uncomfortable questions under oath.

    Senator, you allowed this beast to be created, now you and I have to live with it. You are the reason we need term limits, you just don't know when to quit. I suspect that you will be like many of your predecessors, the only way you will leave office is feet first. So, FOAD already.

    • by bytesex (112972)

      "The difference between you, Senator, and me is that you can make it all go away with a vote."

      So can you.

      • by blindseer (891256)

        Right, I should have qualified that. Senator Feinstein can make it go away tomorrow with a vote.

    • You don't seem to understand who you are talking about. Feinstein has always been one of the biggest supporters of pretty much every controversial thing the various government agencies have done. Whatever her motive here I assure you it has nothing to do with speaking up about overreach. Unfortunately she isn't up for re-election for another 4 years or so, which means her strong support of these unpopular activities will be forgotten by then and she will probably be re-elected anyway. (I am a little ann
  • by SternisheFan (2529412) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:25AM (#46461791)
    Remote delete

    In May of 2010, as the documents continued to stream in, some of the committee staffers realized documents they had looked at earlier had disappeared. As it turned out, in two separate incidents, CIA employees had accessed the network without committee approval and had deleted approximately 920 documents from the network’s storage.

    Sen. Feinstein said that “CIA staff first denied they had removed the documents, then they blamed IT support personnel and then said removal of the documents was ordered by the White House.” Feinstein went to White House counsel about the removal, and the complaint was rapidly escalated. The CIA apologized for the removal and gave assurances that it wouldn’t happen again.

    But it would happen again, later in 2010, according to Feinstein, after the discovery of draft documents within the shared data that were part of an internal review ordered by Leon Panetta. The so-called Panetta review documents were actually summaries of the same documents that made up the majority of what the committee staff was reviewing for its report, but they included “analysis and acknowledgement of signs of wrongdoing,” Feinstein said.

    The documents were marked as “deliberative” and “privileged”—meaning that they were intended not to be shared with the Senate under claims of executive privilege. But since they had been shared as part of the data dump, Feinstein said, there was no legal reason for the staff to not review the documents.

    It is not known whether the CIA inadvertently shared the documents that somehow made it through the contractor’s screening process or if they were deliberately added to the data dump by the CIA or possibly by an internal whistleblower. Regardless, shortly after the draft documents were discovered, they started disappearing from the document store—so staffers copied the ones that remained to their local hard drives and printed out copies to preserve them. Staffers also made their own redacted copies of the documents—removing CIA non-executive employee names and locations, as the CIA would have done with other documents—and transported them back to the Hart SCIF for safekeeping.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com]

  • by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:10AM (#46461875)

    Maybe.

    Meanwhile, it will get you all riled up and distracted from not having a job and from paying more for your "affordable" health care, if you can even find a doctor in your town anymore.

    • Maybe.

      Meanwhile, it will get you all riled up and distracted from not having a job and from paying more for your "affordable" health care, if you can even find a doctor in your town anymore.

      Agreed. Is this news release all a magician's distraction trick being employed by the so called 'good' party? Watch the left hand waving about, but don't pay any attention to that right hand sneaking into your pocket? Hmmm....

  • by retroworks (652802) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @09:24AM (#46463569) Homepage Journal
    That there is no "group" or "control". Once your agency has access, how do you know your 20-something employees aren't going to snoop? So many of the comments here seem to refer to monolithic, organized groups of "assholes", "scumbags" and "sphincters", like it's all planned out. The best case for privacy is chaos and inability of agencies to keep track of what "they" (their employees, contractors, executives, etc.) are accessing.
  • I thought if you had nothing to hide; you had nothing to fear? If that's good enough for the rest of us, shouldn't that be good enough for Congress?

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