CIA Director John Brennan fessed up today over his agency spying on staff members of a key Senate committee. Mr. Brennan’s admission comes months after an ugly dust-up with Senate Intelligence Committee boss Dianne Feinstein (DiFi) over allegations that the CIA had hacked into the computers of staff investigating agency interrogation and detention programs or in layman’s terms: torture programs. DiFi went absolutely ballistic at the time, going to the extraordinary lengths of denouncing the CIA’s tactics on the Senate floor. Brennan, being the career spook that he is did what comes natural: he lied, denying the accusation without qualification. Not that Senator Feinstein could ever be defended as a defender of American civil liberties – she is after all one of the NSA Stasi’s most ardent defenders – but this time, like the adage of the broken clock she was right. It was her great shining moment.
Feinstein could be excused for doing a victory lap today being vindicated by the findings of an internal review showing that her committee was indeed spied on by Brennan’s CIA goons. According to a story in The Guardian entitled “CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers” by Spencer Ackerman from which I excerpt:
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, which allowed Senate committee investigators to review agency documents for their landmark inquiry into CIA torture.
Among other things, it was revealed that agency officials conducted keyword searches and email searches on committee staff while they used the network.
The admission brings Brennan’s already rocky tenure at the head of the CIA under renewed question. One senator on the panel said he had lost confidence in the director, although the White House indicated its support for a man who has been one of Barack Obama’s most trusted security aides.
The reference to Brennan being “one of Barack Obama’s most trusted security aides” is particularly galling given the anti-constitutional rampage that El Presidente has been conducting out of the Oval Office. Forget about that political stunt of John Boehner in suing Obama, the real problem is Obama’s ongoing empowerment of a mammoth national security state apparatus that is setting into place all of the institutions of a totalitarian state for his successors. Being a libertarian myself, the concentration of such unchecked power in the Executive Branch absolutely horrifies me, but were I a Republican the prospect of the turning over of the keys to this machine to Hillary Rodham-Clinton would be a nightmare of biblical proportions. The golden opportunity for the GOP to once and for all put a choke chain on this menace to American liberty lies in the coming retaking of the Senate in November. There will be an approximately one year window of opportunity to cage this monster and I hope that for the sake of all of our future that they will do so.
The CIA spying on Feinstein’s committee is a part of the ongoing efforts by a rogue government to cover up our sad and disgusting choice to embark upon the path of a torture state after 9/11. This very concept, at least prior to that terrible day was antithetical to American values – we were the good guys and we did not resort to such vile practices which were what morally separated us from our enemies. Tragically, we lost our way and that “shining city on the hill” that was so eloquently evoked by President Ronald Reagan continues to recede into the rear view mirror as under our recent and current leadership. This leadership has no respect for our traditional values and has zero qualms about dragging us through the darkest alleys of humanity that are the route to a despotic torture state. Sucks that such a thing is seen by so many as being as American as apple pie now. Jack Bauer is a fictional character designed to create within the people an acceptance for the same type of conduct that had men hanged at Nuremberg after our fathers and grandfathers defeated fascism in Europe.
The covering up of the torture that our deranged and power drunk “leaders” turned to has truly been a bipartisan effort that spans two presidencies – one Republican and one Democrat with each one being for two terms. The administrations of both George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama have continued to thwart efforts to reveal the truth of the heinous torture programs to the public and even Feinstein’s efforts are tepid at best to get to the bottom of things and will continue to be fiercely resisted by the White House.
Brennan’s admission along with his much hyped apology is a nice public relations gimmick which comes at a very opportune time. Our wonderful representatives in the US Congress are ready to decamp from Washington for their latest taxpayer funded extended vacation. By the time that they return all will be forgiven and most importantly forgotten by the public as the media feeds them the ridiculous horse race coverage of this most critical of mid-term elections along with the insane focus on non-issues that only benefit entrenched power.