Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) are rightfully angry over allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) infiltrated its secret computer network and monkeyed with sensitive documents pertaining to the committee’s investigation of the CIA’s Bush-era interrogation techniques, including torture.
CIA director and Obama administration appointee John Brennan emphatically denied the charges, telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “Nothing could be further from the truth.” He went on to suggest that SSCI chairwoman Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who is firing angry about the CIA’s actions, is “beyond the scope of reason.”
According to The Washington Post, files have disappeared from the network and CIA agents have evidently intimidated staffers. Feinstein, whose committee is compiling a 6,000 report on the CIA’s use of waterboarding and the like, voiced “grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution.” She’s also been repeatedly demanding an explanation from the CIA and Brennan since January without a response, until now.
The battle between SSCI and CIA comes down to a high powered D.C. he-said-she-said.
The CIA claims that Senate staffers illegally accessed, perhaps via hacking, documents which they didn’t have clearance to view. And, likewise, the committee staffers insist that the CIA horked documents it had gathered via the CIA’s special network.
A special computer room was assembled by the Agency at or near CIA headquarters offering committee staffers direct access to millions of CIA documents during the investigation and authoring of the torture report. Contrary to what you might’ve heard, no, the CIA didn’t hack into Senate computers on the Hill or eavesdrop on senatorial phone calls.
Cue the Barney Fifes from Team Snowden. Not unlike kneejerk police-scanner jockies, along comes Greenwald, Edward Snowden and The Intercept to latch onto the story as a means of furthering their lucrative Demon Obama Wants To Know Your Every Thought (Also Pocket Sensors) agenda. Their hackles are particularly erect this time around due to the fact that NSA-defender Feinstein has been one of their favorite whipping-girls since the beginning of the Snowden saga. And now the tables are turned against Feinstein.
The Intercept‘s Dan Froomkin posted an article yesterday calling the fight between the Agency and the committee a “constitutional crisis.”
Meanwhile, Greenwald has been ranting about the story in 140 word bursts via Twitter… READ MORE