Senator Feinstein says CIA spied on Intelligence Committee

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee torched the Central Intelligence Agency in a floor speech Tuesday morning, charging the agency with spying on her committee’s computers in a possibly illegal search that has been referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution.

During her speech, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she learned in January that the Central Intelligence Agency improperly searched committee computer files, confirming several media reports. She said the incident has been referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution. But Feinstein was also riled by a separate referral by the CIA to the Department of Justice suggesting that the committee staff had improperly received classified information…

The CIA, it seems, was trying to figure out whether the committee staff had managed to gain access to an internal review of CIA interrogation methods that came to be named after now-former CIA Director Leon E. Panetta.

CIA hacks are crapping their drawers over the possibility of payback for torture on behalf of the Bush/Cheney invasions in the Middle East. They presumed assurances of torture being OK were good till the end of time. Not just the end of the Bush Administration.

Feinstein had been quiet about previous press reports, preferring to avoid creating a firestorm and deferring answering questions from reporters at the Capitol in recent weeks about the incident, but she said Tuesday on the Senate floor that was no longer possible. She said the CIA has not answered repeated questions from the committee about the incident, raising questions of illegality.

“I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States constitution, including the speech and debate,” Feinstein said…

Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., appeared on the floor shortly after Feinstein’s lengthy speech to praise her comments, calling for all senators to stand behind her.

“If we do not stand up for … the protection of the separation of powers and our ability to do oversight, especially when conduct has happened that is in all likelihood criminal by the part of a government agency, then what do we stand for?” Leahy said.

Warms the cockles of my heart to see chickens come home to roost in the crap-filled coop called Congress.

Ed Snowden’s reaction to Feinstein’s self-righteous speech is completely to the point – and he made it inclusive, to the world view of our government and the “coalition of the willing”:

“It’s clear the CIA was trying to play ‘keep away’ with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that’s a serious constitutional concern,” said Snowden in a statement to NBC News. “But it’s equally if not more concerning that we’re seeing another ‘Merkel Effect,’ where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.”

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