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The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday sharply accused the CIA of violating federal law and undermining the constitutional principle of congressional oversight as she detailed publicly for the first time how the agency secretly removed documents from computers used by her panel to investigate a controversial interrogation program.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that the situation amounted to attempted intimidation of congressional investigators, adding: “I am not taking it lightly.”
She confirmed that an internal agency investigation of the action has been referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. And she said that the CIA appears to have violated the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as various federal laws and a presidential executive order that prevents the agency from conducting domestic searches and surveillance.
She has sought an apology and recognition that the CIA search of the committee’s computers was inappropriate, she said. “I have received neither,” she added.
The comments by Feinstein, traditionally a strong advocate for the intelligence community, blew wide open a dispute that has simmered behind closed doors in recent weeks. [Full DiFi snit fit here]
Okay, from the top I have a problem with using intelligence in the same sentence as Dianne Feinstein. We had her in California government long before we inflicted her upon the rest of society, and intelligence is not a faculty anyone should attribute to the senator.
But that aside, why is Feinstein so outraged when, to paraphrase Fark.com, she has simply been subjected to “the same sort of clandestine eavesdropping that the regular ol’ rabble have to endure”?
Way back in 2001, when George W. Bush was ramrodding his Patriot Act through Congress, I was warning my friends that it was a politically correct ploy to avoid having to admit we were at war with half the Muslim population of the world.
I trusted Bush (insofar as I trust any politician) but I also knew that one day we would have a president like Barack Obama who would use such a program to identify, keep track of and persecute his or her political enemies.
The excuses Feinstein and others—Michele Bachmann and Lindsey Graham among them—have used to justify NSA-CIA data collection should be scandalous. This program strikes at the heart of the Fourth Amendment.
The United States has one global enemy and it is fundamental Islam. But because Republicans were afraid of backlash from the leftwing media by identifying that specific enemy, we now have Catholic nuns being groped in airports and everyday Americans subjected to what amounts to wiretapping.
Leftist ideologues like Barack Obama will always use programs like these to their political advantage. Obama would be foolish not to; he sees every American on the right as an extremist.
Before this is finished we will learn that every tea party conservative in America has had his or her information data mined and used. Or, worse, maybe we won’t.
Sen. Feinstein, are you absolutely certain you sent the president a birthday card?
Gratefully reblogged at Lonely Conservative!
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