Sen. Feinstein upset over CIA searching congressional computers

Sen. Feinstein upset over CIA searching congressional computers

Big Brother posterSen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., generally has a liberal record. Yet the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee long has defended the vast snooping of the NSA and the other intelligence agencies.

Perhaps she is having second thoughts after she attacked the CIA for searching the computers of Congress itself, in particular her Intelligence Committee. The Washington Post reported:

A behind-the-scenes battle between the CIA and Congress erupted in public Tuesday as the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee accused the agency of breaking laws and breaching constitutional principles in an alleged effort to undermine the panel’s multi-year investigation of a controversial interrogation program.

Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accused the CIA of ­secretly removing documents, searching computers used by the committee and attempting to intimidate congressional investigators by requesting an FBI inquiry of their conduct — charges that CIA Director John Brennan disputed within hours of her appearance on the Senate floor.

Feinstein described the escalating conflict as a “defining moment” for Congress’s role in overseeing the nation’s intelligence agencies and cited “grave concerns” that the CIA had “violated the separation-of-powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution.”

Indeed, it is a “defining moment.” If the allegations are true, then the CIA, which is part of the executive branch, effectively invaded the legislative branch of government.

The CIA’s own Website stipulates:

By law, the CIA is specifically prohibited from collecting foreign intelligence concerning the domestic activities of US citizens. Its mission is to collect information related to foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence. 

The question now is whether Feinstein and other members of Congress actually will investigate what really happened not only with the alleged bugging of Congress, but the many other abuses — not just alleged, but real — of the CIA, NSA, etc.

Are we a government of laws, or a government of spies?

Tags assigned to this article:
Dianne FeinsteinJohn SeilerNSACIA

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