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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress 266

Posted by timothy
from the note-the-passive-voice-and-weasel-words dept.
Bruce66423 (1678196) writes with this story from the Guardian: The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, conceding that the agency employees spied on committee staff and reversing months of furious and public denials. Brennan acknowledged that an internal investigation had found agency security personnel transgressed a firewall set up on a CIA network, called RDINet, which allowed Senate committee investigators to review agency documents for their landmark inquiry into CIA torture." (Sen. Diane Feinstein was one of those vocally accusing the CIA of spying on Congress; Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised a similar question about the NSA.)
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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

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  • by PoisOnouS (710605) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:50PM (#47576101) Homepage
    get an apology from these lying bastards??
    • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:56PM (#47576173) Homepage

      Fuck the apology. Put him in jail.

      At this point there is no choice but to assume that when the CIA and NSA say they're in compliance with the law, they're bloody well lying.

      When they're outright lying to the people who oversee them, they've become a criminal organization.

      • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rahvin112 (446269) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:00PM (#47576227)

        Jail isn't going to do any good unless you put the whole agency in jail.

        The solution is a massive budget cut and laws that make specific conduct not only illegal but automatically appoint special prosecutors to act on. Then you put into law and fund an agency who's entire job is to spy on the CIA and report every time they break the law. The biggest problem with the post 9/11 revisions was we gave all these people basically immunity to do whatever they want in the name of national security. It's obscene.

        • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by alexo (9335) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:04PM (#47576277) Journal

          Jail isn't going to do any good unless you put the whole agency in jail.

          Fine by me.

        • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:06PM (#47576299) Homepage

          Jail isn't going to do any good unless you put the whole agency in jail.

          OK, fine.

          If there is no oversight, and I don't mean a FISA court whose job it is to say everything is rosy, then you can't have an agency like this.

          Having the CIA directly lying to congress about their activities, and actively spying on the people who are supposed to oversee them is something straight out of fiction -- only it's no longer fiction, they're doing anything they please, and no longer accountable to anybody.

          Fuck, hit them up with a RICO suit. Do ANYTHING.

          What next, he'll go into private industry as a security consultant for corporations? Oh, wait ...

          This is bloody scary. Neither Americans nor the rest of the world signed up for a fucking security agency which is no longer under anyone's control except people who feel they can do anything they want.

          • by Imagix (695350)
            How about starting with perjury and treason charges?
          • Re:When will we... (Score:4, Informative)

            by demachina (71715) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @06:24PM (#47577899)

            "Neither Americans nor the rest of the world signed up for a fucking security agency which is no longer under anyone's control except people who feel they can do anything they want."

            Uh, the CIA has been pretty much like this since its inception during World War II as the OSS and the CIA immediately after. It was reined in briefly by the Churck and Pike Committees in the 70's but that oversight and those reforms were pretty much rolled back by Reagan. Sure, they got to reach new lows after 9/11 with no hold barred torture, but the CIA has been torturing people through proxies for its entire history, so that wasn't exactly new either.

            Not exactly sure why everyone is acting like this is some kind of revelation or anything new, other than its kind of amazing Brennan was foolish enough to admit to it. I predict his career at the CIA will soon come to an end, and he will be replaced with someone with larger brass balls.

            The chances you all are gonna change any of this airing your indignation on /. are vanishingly small.

        • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by eudas (192703) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:29PM (#47576521)

          Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

          • by lgw (121541)

            The custodians can clean up after themselves. ;) Who polices the police police?

            Police police police police police police.

            One of my favorite English sentences, right up there with buffalos and "the horse raced past the barn fell down".

            • by Pfhorrest (545131)

              Unless you've found a way to make "police" an adjective, I think you have one too many iterations of it there. Police(n) [whom] police(n) police(v) [in turn] police(v) [other] police(n).

              The buffalo sentence in turn has eight, not five (or your six), iterations. Buffalo(NY) buffalo(bison) [whom] Buffalo(NY) buffalo(bison) buffalo(bully) [in turn] buffalo(bully) [other] Buffalo(NY) buffalo(bison).

        • by Talderas (1212466) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:38PM (#47576593)

          The NSA already spies on the CIA and FBI and has done so for a long time. Maybe we should ask them to validate.

        • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @04:18PM (#47576917) Homepage

          While I agree that it was more than just Berman doing illegal things, I think that by throwing him (and a selection of others) into prison it would send a message to the rest that this sort of activity is not condoned. This will make the rest reconsider taking the same actions.

          Right now most people are "just following orders" because there are consequences to not doing so (losing their jobs) and no consequences to disobeying. We need to change that.

          So yeah, throw him and his cronies in jail.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Why not both? - taco girl.

          Seriously we're talking of an organization that is involved in covert military intelligence or worse and spies on the entire world, including US citizens, that is funded by the US government but lies to its elected officials and also spies on them. Really? Shut it down or massively cut down on its powers, and jail every leader involved. If you can't do that, then does the US government control the CIA, or does the CIA control the US government?...
        • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dotancohen (1015143) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @05:08PM (#47577393) Homepage

          Jail isn't going to do any good unless you put the whole agency in jail.

          When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

          We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

        • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @06:38PM (#47577997) Journal

          CIA is just one TLA out of many more that are part of the same problem. This mentality, that they can do whatever the hell they want, and fuck law, due process and constitution, so long as they catch the arbitrarily defined bad guys of the day, is pervasive throughout all government agencies that have anything even remotely to do with law enforcement or military. NSA and CIA spying are links of the same chain that includes DEA no-knock warrants, police departments buying MRAPs for bragging rights etc.

          And yes, there are some agencies that should literally go to jail wholesale. For example, I don't see how you can be working for DEA and not be complicit in activities that, 50 years ago, would be decried as stereotypical police state jackboot thug activity - and all that violence for the sake of suppressing non-violent, consensual activity (well, at least nominally - in practice, these days, it's more often an excuse, and the actual goal is cashing in on asset forfeiture).

        • by Copid (137416)

          Jail isn't going to do any good unless you put the whole agency in jail.

          I don't know. You take few people who thought that their rule breaking would only get "the agency" as a whole in trouble and put those people in jail and some of the ones left over might start to take the rules more seriously.

        • As much as I would like to see the entire NSA dismantled, it should primarily be the top-level folks facing jail time.

          Sure, Joe Technician knows what he's doing is wrong, but it's very very difficult to blow the whistle on an operation like that. Just look at old Eddie S.

          But the top brass, they actually had the clout to stop the insanity, but decided to dig deeper in, instead. They're the ones who straight-up lies to congress, foriegn allies, the American people and everyone else.

          Lock them up. Hell, send

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spacefight (577141)
          Agencies that large might as well have other means of funding these days which are not in the books. Think about it.
    • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kenja (541830) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:56PM (#47576181)
      "lying bastard" is more or less their job description.
    • Re:When will we... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:06PM (#47576295)

      I don't want an apology.

      I want to see the files on congress, the last 10 executive branches and staff, the supreme court down to the clerks and all nationally known reporters.

      Any lawyers readying a FOIA suit?

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      Now now congressman aren't lying all of the time
    • Power is now so contemptibly disconnected from justice that only when people have finally had enough and heads start rolling will any attempt to apologize feel needed to be made.

      Those people just about live in their own insulated world now with its' own rules that apply only to them.

  • by bfmorgan (839462) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:50PM (#47576107)
    So why is lying to Congress not a punishable offense?
    • Not since Oliver North found Congress to be quite contemptible.
    • by jbolden (176878) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:56PM (#47576177) Homepage

      It is. The next step would be for the Senate oversight committee to vote to refer the matter for prosecution. The question is whether they want to go down this road or not. Generally congress has been reluctant to have recorded votes because of the pr hit.

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:02PM (#47576251) Homepage

        It is. The next step would be for the Senate oversight committee to vote to refer the matter for prosecution. The question is whether they want to go down this road or not.

        The way I see it, if they don't go for prosecution, they've more or less given these agencies carte blanche to violate the law, lie about it, and have no consequences.

        Sorry, but I think this sounds like treason, or at the very least an indication that all of the assurances we've had that they're playing by the rules is a pile of shit.

        So, the question of "do you spy on Americans?" "Are you in compliance with the law?" "Have you been using this information to make yourself rich?" -- every single thing they do pretty much must be distrusted.

        Blatantly lying to Congress means they've reached a point where they don't give a shit.

        This is madness.

        • Part of the determination to prosecute will probably based on whether or not the executive branch (i.e. the White House) is of the same party as the Senate.

          It is very hard for one part of the government (e.g. half of Congress) to attack a different branch when they're controlled by the same party.

          But they should ...

          Ultimately, I think that if the Senate doesn't go after the spy depts on this, the voters will lose trust in whatever party is not helping to fix it. As a tea party guy, I respect Pelosi
        • by jbolden (176878) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:13PM (#47576375) Homepage

          Treason is much more than just not doing what congress tells you to do. I agree with you congress should prosecute for lying under oath and lying to congress. They also might want to restructure these agencies. The intelligence agencies are out of control. But treason, no.

          • by dnavid (2842431) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @04:32PM (#47577059)

            Treason is much more than just not doing what congress tells you to do. I agree with you congress should prosecute for lying under oath and lying to congress. They also might want to restructure these agencies. The intelligence agencies are out of control. But treason, no.

            The problem here is that its one thing to simply assume Brennan was lying, but its another thing to prove it. The fact that he now says an internal investigation shows members of the CIA did monitor systems operated by Congress doesn't mean he was lying when he testified they did not. It could mean that he simply didn't know, and if that's the case your prosecution would go nowhere.

            You could argue he should have known, but there's two complications here. The first is that the conduct was uncovered as part of an internal CIA investigation, not an external investigator, so attempting to prosecute Brennan would be punishing him not for the misconduct, but the fact he was willing to uncover and admit it. All you would be doing is encouraging people to remain silent. The second thing is that the conduct he admitted to is not as clean-cut as the headline suggests. Apparently what happened was that the CIA created a special firewall within the actual CIA network that they configured to allow Senate investigators to gain access to CIA files. It was this firewall the CIA monitored, which had the net effect of monitoring the Senate's access to the CIA. Even that is basically illegal, but assuming you could monitor what other people did to your network sounds like the sort of mistake a lot of people would make. It would be legal in almost any other setting, but not specifically in this context.

            The CIA personnel still should have known better, or rather should have known they were on questionable ground and sought very high level authorization to take that action, but I don't think this is the kind of smoking gun people think it is.

            • by jbolden (176878) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @06:45PM (#47578033) Homepage

              The problem here is that its one thing to simply assume Brennan was lying, but its another thing to prove it. The fact that he now says an internal investigation shows members of the CIA did monitor systems operated by Congress doesn't mean he was lying when he testified they did not. It could mean that he simply didn't know, and if that's the case your prosecution would go nowhere.

              Well I checked. Here was the statement "We are not in any way trying to thwart the [Senate Intelligence Committee] report's progress [or] release. As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into computers, nothing could be further from the truth. That's beyond the scope of reason.. tried to work as collaboratively as possible with the committee on its report, and we will continue to do so.". The statement wasn't under oath though so I was wrong there. He can't be charged with anything. Lying to a reporter is not a crime.

              Apparently what happened was that the CIA created a special firewall within the actual CIA network that they configured to allow Senate investigators to gain access to CIA files. It was this firewall the CIA monitored, which had the net effect of monitoring the Senate's access to the CIA. Even that is basically illegal, but assuming you could monitor what other people did to your network sounds like the sort of mistake a lot of people would make. It would be legal in almost any other setting, but not specifically in this context.

              It doesn't appear so. It appears they didn't just monitor but tracked documents and then deleted them. They weren't just doing network monitoring they were doing ECM. The CIA has no right to anything that the Senate ultimately wants.

        • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:16PM (#47576409) Homepage Journal

          It may sound like treason to you, but it's not.

          Treason is specifically defined [usconstitution.net] in the Constitution.

          While it's not treason, it sounds like multiple felonies to me.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort

            Well, arguably these clowns have become the enemy of democracy, the Constitution, and the rights of pretty much every person on the planet.

            No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

            And, he's now confessed.

            OK, fine, maybe it's not technically treason. But if the US isn't going to do some serious cleaning of house, it's only going to get FAR worse from here.

          • While it's not treason, it sounds like multiple felonies to me.

            Quite correct. It is espionage, which like treason, is a death penalty offense. I don't care what label you use to hang 'em, just as long as the end result is the same.

          • by HiThere (15173)

            No, but it does sound like malfeasance. Which is a felony.

          • U.S. Constitution - Article 3 Section 3
            "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."
            ---------

            Is the CIA not an organization of war?
            As such, are the tools and methods of the CIA not tools and methods of levying war?
            Did the CIA not just admit to using those tools and met
        • by ebusinessmedia1 (561777) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:22PM (#47576473)
          I'm a moderate, who leans a but left, but I can say without equivocation that this administration has really let people down. Little knownn is that our current Attorney General, Eric Holder, was a lawyer who defended banks prior to coming to Washington. That not ONE of the banking CEO's or their very senior staffers is in jail for what was done several years ago, is an outrage! Unless we start JAILING people who otherwise think they can scoff at the law due to wealth or political connections, we are going down a road that violates the very tenets of our nation's forming.
          • by gstoddart (321705)

            we are going down a road that violates the very tenets of our nation's forming.

            Going??? It's well underway.

            9/11 was the most spectacular win for the terrorists, because they more or less kicked the foundations out from Western society, and have helped to create the worst form of surveillance state you can imagine.

            This is the Stasi, the KGB, J Edgar Hoover, McCarthy, and cyberpunk all rolled up into one festering mass of shit.

            • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @04:28PM (#47577011) Homepage

              9/11 was the most spectacular win for the authoritarians, because they more or less kicked the foundations out from Western society, and have helped to create the worst form of surveillance state you can imagine.

              FTFY

              9/11 was a very public strike against the West by the terrorists but it did little to benefit their own goals (in fact, given the increased US involvement and the general unrest in the Middle East it probably pushed back their goals somewhat). We got to the current state of affairs in this country by our own doing, thanks to our own home-grown corruption and power-hungry factions and an apathetic populace.

              9/11 may not have been engineered by us, but the people in power certainly took advantage of it when it happened.

              • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @06:52PM (#47578079) Journal

                in fact, given the increased US involvement and the general unrest in the Middle East it probably pushed back their goals somewhat

                Not at all. It made the position of Islamist groups that were arguing from more moderate positions, and generally preferred a democratic transition to their goal (like Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots), much weaker. At the same time, it made the position of groups arguing for violent jihad much stronger - especially since, with foreign intervention in Muslim countries, they could declare jihad to be fard ayn (individually obligatory for any observant Muslim) on scriptural grounds. It also created lots of martyrs.

                Think about where things were before the intervention, and where they are now. Taliban is rapidly regaining control over Afghanistan, and in the meantime Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are also rapidly Islamized by similar Salafist strains. In Pakistan, military and intelligence are stuffed with Taliban-friendly Islamists. In Iraq and Syria, large swaths are under control of an armed jihadi group that has officially declared itself to be the Caliphate, and which practices the version of Islam that even many other extremist Salafi organizations find too brutal - and they keep expanding territory and getting a steady influx of volunteers. Volunteers, I must add, that come from our own countries, and are in many cases not only our citizens by law, but are born and raised here within our culture - and yet falling under the influence of extremist preachers who convert them. Do you really think that we could see anything on that scale without the free (to them) advertising that the West gave to jihadis?

        • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:35PM (#47576573) Homepage Journal

          The way I see it, if they don't go for prosecution, they've more or less given these agencies carte blanche to violate the law, lie about it, and have no consequences.

          Welcome to the American legal system, where selective prosecution is standard operating procedure. The only reason to have a legal system which does not require prosecution for known crimes is to permit treating some people differently than others. It leads to the proliferation of bad laws.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Correct. This IS madness. Primarily enabled by politics of the worst kind.

          Fact: It is illegal to lie to Congress. I don't think there is ANY document, even matters of National Security, that specifically excuses that. If there is, I'm waiting for them to pull that out. But we won't see it here, because that's the current system we have. The highest offices of the US Governement, and it's agencies of Intelligence, are above the law.

          I don't know if there is anything worse beyond Oligarchy, but if there is, we

        • Even if they do refer it for prosecution it will just go to the Justice department’s Assistant Attorney for the Washington area who will refuse to prosecute. DOJ has already refused to even investigate this so it is unlikely they'll actually prosecute it. The sad fact is that there is really not much congress can do at this point. They can whine and complain, hold hearings, perhaps hold up some legislation/nominations or mess with the budget. Nothing that the White house can’t get away with simp

        • by houghi (78078)

          This is not the first time an agency lied. It worked out great for them so he probably thought "Why lie about it?" Very soon these agencies will use it as bragging rights and will so so publicly.

          First they hide it. Then they lie about it. Then they laugh in your face. Then they win.

      • In particular, I don't know if the Democratically-controlled Senate really wants to create an opening for Republicans to go after their wounded and weakened Democratic White House.
        • by jbolden (176878)

          I'm not sure how weakened the White house is. You look at the electoral map I'd have even more trouble seeing how the Republicans would get to 270. Moreover how does going after the CIA weaken the White House? The CIA reports to the DNI who had broad support.

    • by alexo (9335) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:06PM (#47576291) Journal

      So why is lying to Congress not a punishable offense?

      Depends on who does the lying and how well connected they are.

      • Imagine a government agency that knows which members of congress are pedophiles and let's say that that agency possesses data that proves such activity.
        Now imagine that government agency's top dog lies to congress.

        If you can imagine what happens next, please let us know.
    • by gurps_npc (621217)
      One of the many problems with our Constitution is the simple fact that many laws, particularly about government, have no penalties. Pass a law that establishes a religion? No punishment. Ignore a Supreme Court ruling? No punishment (just ask President Jackson) You are an on duty police officer, illegally engaged in electioneering (i.e. supporting a politician). No punishment.
      • by spacepimp (664856) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @04:13PM (#47576867) Homepage

        Except there is a law on record for exactly this sort of behavior. The fact that it is not frequently/publicly followed up upon, is another matter (Clapper)

        TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 47 > 1001

          1001. Statements or entries generally

        (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

        (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

        (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

        (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

        shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.

        -snip-

        (c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—

        (1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or

        (2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

    • So why is lying to Congress not a punishable offense?

      Congress used to keep those in contempt of Congress in jails in the old Guard rooms until they agreed to cooperate (or the session ended). The room that's now the House post office was last used in 1934 to hold a prisoner. Both the Legislature and the Judiciary have almost entirely abdicated their powers to the Executive Branch since then.

      These days we have a sitting Attorney General who is convicted of Contempt of Congress (which carries a *minimum* on

    • by penguinoid (724646) <spambait001@yahoo.com> on Thursday July 31, 2014 @04:52PM (#47577267) Homepage Journal

      So why is lying to Congress not a punishable offense?

      Lying to Congress when you possess sufficient blackmail to force each of them out of office is not a punishable offense, and there is no law that could be passed to make it so.

  • Charged with Treason ?

    He violated his departments charter and law...

    So Toss his ass into Gitmo and wait 15 years to bring him to trial ..

    • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:07PM (#47576311) Homepage Journal

      That's not treason. Treason is specifically defined in the Constitution.

      However, why isn't he being charged with multiple felonies, including perjury, etc...?

    • by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:07PM (#47576313)

      So Toss his ass into Gitmo and wait 15 years to bring him to trial ..

      What?!?!?! The people in Gitmo actually gets chance to go to trial???? /sarcasm

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      You more or less have to assume the entire upper management of the CIA (and other TLAs) are all equally corrupted.

      They've decided that the people overseeing them don't know what they're talking about, and taken matters into their own hands.

      Treason indeed. And there's no way just one guy is responsible. The whole system has rotted into this.

    • Or at the very least fired.

      By his own words he has proven himself unfit for that position. Whether or not he has broken laws is for courts to decide and will probably take months - if not years - to play out to its conclusion. But in the mean time, that asshole needs to be removed from his position immediately.

    • So Toss his ass into Gitmo and wait 15 years to bring him to trial .

      Whoa there,
      I think the man violated the law. I think he and his organization is specifically out of control and has a real chance to subvert the only check on their power. I even think that this poses a threat to the democratic nature of the USA. To that extent, this is a matter of national security. Our nation is at risk of being subverted and controlled by a small group of individuals with the whole constitution being thrown out the window.

      But I am not willing to throw out the man's right to a speedy tr

  • I mean, if they can spy on congress they can spy on anybody and we'll get new laws protecting our individual freedoms now. Right?

    *crickets*

    • by Qzukk (229616) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:58PM (#47576193) Journal

      Feinstein is only against spying when it happens to her. You're on your own.

      • False: Feinstein is only against spying when she is forced by circumstances to be publically against it. If this had all happened in private I *highly* doubt she'd do anything about it (except pat the NSA on the back and help their head find new consulting gigs).

        • The CIA/NSA has so much dirt on all the congress critters that they will never do anything else but make distracting noises.

          My one hope was that Snowden had gotten a copy of the files on congress. But those are the keys to the kingdom. No way he had access.

  • Did you ever seriously doubt that the CIA was lying? They are paid to do this sort of work. Yes, yes, it says international and all that goody stuff in the contract but that is just for show. To feel safe the government is going to violate. Violate what? Everything. Including you and itself.

  • by pitchpipe (708843) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:59PM (#47576215)
    Can we start fucking putting these traitors in jail now?!
  • by BenJeremy (181303) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:59PM (#47576217)

    It's a disease that needs to be stomped out, mercilessly. Allowing the NSA, DHS and CIA (hell, even the IRS, for that matter) to continue to operate as they are allowed to will swallow up the last vestiges of America and its dream.

    The dystopia exists now but it's not too late to turn back.

    • Allowing the NSA, DHS and CIA (hell, even the IRS, for that matter) to continue to operate as they are allowed to will swallow up the last vestiges of America and its dream.

      Don't forget the Fed, which funds all this.

      The dystopia exists now but it's not too late to turn back.

      It's actually the collapse of the Fed's product that will be the only thing that can scale it back. It could resolve nicely or turn into a nightmare - here's hoping for the best!

  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @02:59PM (#47576223)

    Why hasn't John Brennan been fired yet? If this was any private company in the United States, he'd have been fired on the spot for lying to his superiors for months and trying to cover up his own incompetence.

  • by gerardrj (207690) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:04PM (#47576271) Journal

    Surprise. Surprise. Surprise.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:10PM (#47576345)

    Congress didn't much care when the NSA was spying on us peons. Now that Congress-critters are the ones being spied on, I'm thinking they just might do something about it. Thanks for pissing of the right people, CIA.

    • by gorbachev (512743)

      This is always the case. They are completely incapable of seeing things from their constituents' point of view (unless of course there's money or votes to be made by doing so), which for an elected official is pretty tragic.

      This is also why the only way we get any changes in gun legislation is if someone shoots one of their kids.

      The Germans must've also been quite happy with the difference of the reaction of NSA spying on German citizens vs. their Chancellor.

  • Who knows, maybe the President will come out and say that Senator Feinstein and her congressional staff are connected to foreign terrorists and thus a legitimate intelligence target. Why else would he continue to stand up for Director Brennan? Even in the political cynic in me is surprised that the White House didn't sacrifice him just to make the attention go away.
  • Did he lie? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tomhath (637240)
    His statement says some CIA employees did what Feinstein suspected. This brings up the question of "What did the director know and when did he know it?" but doesn't necessarily mean he was lying any more than Hillary lied at most of her appearances before Congress...oh, never mind.
  • by tekrat (242117) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:31PM (#47576541) Homepage Journal

    And Congress *ONLY*.
    Consider the following; Until very recently Congress were the only individuals exempt from insider trading laws. Congress is exempt from TSA searches when boarding a plane, Congress is exempt from *not* being paid during government shutdowns.

    Congress takes care of itself, NOT the people on the United States. Therefore, Congress will pass a law making itself exempt from CIA/NSA spying and the rest of the country be damned.

    Trust me on this one, if there's one thing Congress is consistent about, with 100% bipartisan support, it's about making sure they are elite, untouchable, and completely corrupt.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @03:50PM (#47576689)

    So this is the problem... The intelligence agencies effectively answer to no-one now. They've declared themselves so important they can lie to congress. Their over-site in the judicial branch is so secret less than 10 people on earth know what goes on in there. They feel that they can make legal decisions allowing them to ignore established law, on their own, tell no one and then lock the reasoning behind that in a lawers safe. They can lie to congress, the president maybe even to each other.

    Using all of this, they could easily establish that their existence and the continuation of these programs is critical to national security. Then run operations to push their agenda in the media (propaganda, forum hacking, news site infiltration etc....) they could threaten members of congress through blackmail, defy the president in secret, etc... and there's absolutely no way to stop any of that.

    Is congress unaware of this? Unable to do anything? Or do they just not care? This has to be stopped. If it's not, we will certainly see this power abused in a horrific way in the near future if it hasn't been already. And I'm not talking about Iraq/Afghanistan/Guantanamo horrific, I mean much much worse. Are we really going to allow ourselves to turn into the 4th riche?

  • He lied to congress ... well I never.

    Seriously, who ever thought that was a trustworthy guy to begin with?
  • by voss (52565) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @04:57PM (#47577307)

    There is a difference between making a false statement to congress and lying to congress.
    The difference is intent. You can unknowingly make a false statement based on lack of information.

    There is nothing in any article about this about attempt to cover up or lie. It seems like he been misinformed by his own subordinates
    and after Brennan was briefed by the inspector general he went to congress and told them the truth.

    "“Recognizing the importance of this matter and the need to resolve it in a way that preserved the crucial equities of both branches,
      Director Brennan asked the CIA Office of Inspector General to examine the actions of CIA personnel,” Boyd said."

  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:50PM (#47582519)
    Scooter Libby, adviser to VP Dick Cheney, was indicted, prosecuted, convicted for perjury and making false claims to federal agents, and subsequently sentenced to 30 months in federal prison (which President Bush commuted). Until people are prosecuted and imprisoned in these cases of lying to Congress, I'll know our government isn't serious about preventing perjury.

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