aNewDomain.net — Asylum for Dianne Feinstein? Well, according to The Daily Currant, the California senator has fled the United States and is seeking political asylum in another country, claiming she fears retribution for criticizing U.S. intelligence agencies. See story in
It’s a funny made-up headline. But there’s a grain of truth in it.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) interfered with a Senate torture investigation by spying on senators, reports say. The investigation trail leads to 2007, beginning with the destruction of the interrogation tapes from the dark sites.
Torture always leaves signs, stains and a vile stench in its wake. The past is alive. CIA chief Brennan’s actions are eerily reminiscent of the Langley system under Bush.
When US President Barack Obama said he would close Guantanamo Bay and stop the “war on terror” back when he first campaigned for the presidency, I think he really meant it. But Guantanamo still has guests, and the past catches up with you, even if you want or need to move on.
This is precisely what Obama wished for, and exactly why he hasn’t succeeded yet.
Widest Rift between US Congress and CIA in 40 Years
Congress decided it wants to know what really happened in Guantanamo.
It has a special interest in the “black sites,” where most of the torture happened. This has nothing to do with a 24, Jack Bauer mentality. Congressional desire for knowledge focuses on alleged war crimes preformed in a quasi-legal, government-approved way. Congressmen and women researched the specifics of the issue for five years to find out exactly who did what, how they did it, why and when.
And Congress now knows that the results of the interrogations were largely negligible. The names of those who made the “enhanced interrogation methods” possible are now well known, too.
See the film below, which I produced in 2009, for a full synopsis of the situation. And remember, it all was done in our name.
While Congress hunts for the truth of Guantanamo, the CIA will do all it can to prevent any real accountability. As far as I’m concerned the CIA has the president’s support in this matter. Both parties know there is a lot at stake — especially if it comes out that the interrogation system did not find any hidden bombs.
“We wouldn’t do that,” Brennan said, specifically about spying on Congress, during an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations. “That’s just beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we would do.”
As might be said in a deposition, the witness was unresponsive. Brennan wasn’t under oath, and this isn’t a full-scale legal inquiry, at least not yet. As any cop or lawyer knows, when someone says they wouldn’t do something, that doesn’t prove they didn’t. And saying something is unreasonable doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
“Tapping into computers used by members of Congress and attempts to use the Justice Department to intimidate congressional staff is a gross violation of the constitutional principles of separation of powers,” representative Jim Sensenbrenner wrote in a Thursday letter to Deputy Attorney General James Cole. He continued:
It paints an almost-Nixonian picture of an administration that believes it can act with impunity behind a veil of secrecy.”
The Rule of Nobody
The Intelligence Committee was supposed to impose checks and balances of power as it applied to torture. And the investigation showed that the CIA needs to be examined.
It is high time to review the powers of the NSA, FBI and the CIA and turn the constitutional representatives on them. In the name of security, the NSA, FBI and CIA are agencies that have turned on their masters.
Congress should immediately modify the Patriot Act, which gives the intelligence agencies too much power. The need for national security and people’s constitutional rights have to be re-balanced. Senator Feinstein has to understand that the NSA and CIA both in a mindset of “my way or the highway.” John Stewart thinks she does not get it. “John Stewart tore into Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday night’s “Daily Show,” ripping her for what he perceived as hypocrisy in a burgeoning CIA spying scandal.
Writes Hannah Arendt on the Rule of Nobody:
Perhaps most formidable form of such dominion, bureaucracy, or the rule by an intricate system of bureaux in which no men, neither one nor the best, neither the few nor the many, can be held responsible, and which could be properly called the Rule of Nobody. Indeed, if we identify tyranny as the government that is not held to give account of itself, rule by Nobody is clearly the most tyrannical of all, since there is no one left who could even be asked to answer for what is being done. It is this state of affairs which is among the most potent causes for the current world-wide rebellious unrest.”
Not in My Name…Again
As a country, we should never go down this road again, and part of making sure we don’t is understanding what happened,” said Christopher E. Anders, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s not just some historic interest. We must understand how we got there and we must make sure that if there is formal accountability that should happen, then it can happen.
See the film I produced in 2009: Torture On Trial. It will take 29 minutes of your time and will hopefully shed some light on this dark topic.
For aNewDomain.net, I’m David Michaelis.
Based in Australia, David Michaelis is a world-renowned international journalist and founder of Link Tv. At aNewDomain.net, he covers the global beat, focusing on politics and other international topics of note for our readers in a variety of forums. Email him at DavidMc@aNewDomain.net.
Photo of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif): Wikimedia Commons