Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Feinstein the Hypocrite

It seems to me what the nine hundred ninety four dupes needed was a new deal.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain

Gracious.  That’s all one can say.  It is simply a question of whose ox is getting gored or, in the real world, who’s spying on whom.  Dianne Feinstein (D.Calif) called him a traitor and even said that if he had simply come to the House or Senate Intelligence Committees and presented all his information to the Committee, the Committee could have evaluated it.  She said his failure to do that was an enormous disservice to the country.   She said he was not simply a whistle blower.  “He took an oath-that oath is important. He violated the oath, he violated the law.  It’s an act of treason in my view.”  She was joined in her condemnation of Edward Snowden by John Boehner who said of Snowden:  “He’s a traitor. . . .  The disclosure of this information . . . . [is] a giant violation of the law. . . . The president outlined last week that there were important national security programs to help keep Americans safe, and give us tools to fight the terrorist threat that we face.   The president also outlined that there are appropriate safeguards in place to make sure that there’s no snooping, if you will, on Americans here at home. . . .”  That was, of course, said, before Mr. Boehner and Ms. Feinstein learned that the Senate Intelligence Committee was being snooped on by the CIA and the CIA said it was being snooped on the staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Senator Feinstein had harsh words for what the CIA was doing: the same kind of words used by citizens to describe the activities of the NSA when they learned of its spying on citizens and the likes of Germany’s Angela Merkel and Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff. Senator Feinstein said the CIA may have violated the Constitution and U.S. laws by spying on committee computers being used by staff members to review CIA documents about the programs used by the CIA to interrogate terror suspects.  The CIA was  also searching internal messages and staffers’ work on other computers. Commenting on the CIA activities Senator Feinstein said:  “I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation –of-powers-principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution.” As she explained, the CIA has violated federal law and undermined the constitutional principle of congressional oversight.

Senator Feinstein referred an internal agency investigation of the CIA’s activities to the Justice Department so that it can consider criminal prosecution of the CIA for its activities.  She not only wants the activities by the CIA stopped, she wants the CIA to apologize and acknowledge that what it did was wrong. The CIA has neither apologized nor acknowledged its misbehavior and appears to have no intention of doing so.  Instead, it told the Council on Foreign Relations that the CIA had done nothing wrong.  And that’s not all the CIA did.  Not wanting to be outdone by Senator Feinstein, it made a criminal referral to the Justice Department.  It wants the Justice Department to determine if committee staff members broke the law by gaining unauthorized access (spying) to CIA computers and taking CIA documents from a secure facility.

Although he was not called on to address the pillow fight between the CIA and the Committee, Judge Richard J. Leon’s  words in a December 2013 decision about the NSA spying might well apply to the activities of all the parties involved in this scuffle.  He described the NSA spying practices as “almost Orwellian,” saying that the NSA phone snooping violates American’s privacy rights.  He said that James Madison would be “aghast” at the NSA’s activities.  After the judge announced his decision Senator Bernard Sanders (I.Vt.) chimed in saying:  “The NSA is out of control and operating in an unconstitutional manner.” They would probably have said the same things about the CIA and the Senate Intelligence committee had they known of their activities.

Not all Senators thought Senator Feinstein’s criticism of the CIA appropriate.  Senator Saxby Chambliss (R.Ga.)  said he and Senator Feinstein “have some disagreements as to what the actual facts [about the CIA activities] are.”  Senator Richard Burr (R.NC)  was critical of Senator Feinstein for discussing the dispute publicly.  Like those who thought Mr. Snowden should have kept quiet about what he knew about misbehavior by the NSA, he said:  “I personally don’t believe that anything that goes on in the intelligence committee should ever be discussed publicly.”  He is apparently of the school that believes that what goes on in government is not the people’s business, especially if  the activities being concealed affect the constitutional rights of the citizens.

Christopher Brauchli is a lawyer in Boulder, Colorado. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu

 

More articles by:
May 24, 2018
Gary Leupp
Art of the Dealbreaker: Trump’s Cancellation of the Summit with Kim
Jeff Warner – Victor Rothman
Why the Emerging Apartheid State in Israel-Palestine is Not Sustainable
Kenn Orphan
Life, the Sea and Big Oil
James Luchte
Europe Stares Into the Abyss, Confronting the American Occupant in the Room
Richard Hardigan
Palestinians’ Great March of Return: What You Need to Know
Howard Lisnoff
So Far: Fascism Lite
Matthew Vernon Whalan
Norman Finkelstein on Bernie Sanders, Gaza, and the Mainstream Treatment
Daniel Warner
J’accuse All Baby Boomers
Alfred W. McCoy
Beyond Golden Shower Diplomacy
Jonah Raskin
Rachel Kushner, Foe of Prisons, and Her New Novel, “The Mars Room”
George Wuerthner
Myths About Wildfires, Logging and Forests
Binoy Kampmark
Tom Wolfe the Parajournalist
Dean Baker
The Marx Ratio: Not Clear Karl Would be Happy
May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
Lawrence Davidson
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail