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Can the CIA Survive Diane Feinstein's Artillery?

May 14, 2014 in Economics

By Nat Hentoff

Nat Hentoff

Future American historians will marvel at how long the CIA engaged in such utter unconstitutional lawlessness as the torture of its captives and drone-plane executions of alleged terrorists — including U.S. citizens — without trials, using “kill lists” provided by President Barack Obama (“Obama’s kill list — All males near drone strike sites are terrorists,” RT.com, May 30, 2012).

Historians will also marvel at why none of the agents — including those at the highest levels of our government — were punished for violating U.S. and international law.

They may also marvel that the one person who came close to actually bringing this vicious cabal to justice was Dianne Feinstein, the previously uncritical chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. She pledged from the Senate floor that the CIA’s “un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted.”

Moreover, with regard to her committee’s prolonged research of the CIA’s crimes, Feinstein accused the agency “of secretly removing documents, searching computers used by the committee and attempting to intimidate congressional investigators (of the CIA) by requesting an FBI inquiry of their conduct” — adding more unconstitutional conduct to her charges (“Feinstein: CIA searched Intelligence Committee computers,” Greg Miller, Ed O’Keefe and Adam Goldman, The Washington Post, March 11).

Coming from this wholly unexpected source, Feinstein’s fiery March 11 floor speech on the CIA began to foment bipartisan outrage, and inspired longtime Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy, to announce, “I cannot think of any speech by any member of either party as important as the one the senator from California just gave.”

Leahy, a primary protector of the Constitution, released a statement, which read in part: “This is not just about getting to the truth of the CIA’s shameful use of torture. This is also about the core founding principle of the separation of powers, and the future of this institution and its oversight role.

“The Senate is bigger than any one senator. Senators come and go, but the Senate endures. The members of the Senate must stand up in defense of this institution, the Constitution and the values upon which this nation was founded” (“Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, on CIA Interference with Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Investigation,” March 11).

And what was Obama’s response? His lapdog White House Spokesman, Jay Carney, said: “The president has great confidence in (CIA Director) …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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