"During a fiery speech Tuesday that stunned lawmakers and members of the intelligence community, Feinstein, a California Democrat, accused the CIA of secretly taking classified documents from her staff's computers during an oversight investigation. Her comments made public a private long running saga over the review of documents related to the post 9/11 Bush administration program for questioning terror suspects — a practice that ultimately was ended by President Barack Obama in 2009." CNN
Senator Feinstein is a sometimes liberal congressperson from Califirnia whose husband is a vastly rich man. She has been known to place his private jet at the disposal of people she likes or who agree with her. Going home for the weekend is not a big hardship for her. As noted in the linked article she has been an unrelenting advocate of gun control as well as federal police and intelligence capabilities, placing these seemingly above all else. It is interesting that her attifudes toward police and governmentetal controls mirror those of Israel.
On the other hand, she has the "right end of the stick" in expressing forcefully the constitutional necessity of effective legislative oversight of the Executive Branch and in this matter she has my support.
She is a hypocrite in this matter but it is a good hypocrisy. pl
Carpooling to work the driver almost took us off road at hearing her bring up separation of powers in light of what this administration has been doing.
I think the correct term is neoliberal…pretty relaxed on the social issues and completely into regulatory capture,control fraud and corporate sponsorship of government. It’s all about the money. She would be turning tricks in Adams Morgan if her corporate sponsors asked her to. That being said…the push back on the CIA, while good, is a day late and a dollar short. And the hubris has to exceed that of Achilles…
Sorry, can’t go the “good” hypocrisy.
She’s a dangerous ideologue and always has been.
“Good hypocrisy.” Just trying to be nice. pl
If her offendedness in this case leads to some surveillance reign-in and control, then her hypocrisy could end up truly beneficial and not just good.
I respect your opinion very much , though often we will disagree- But I join you in supporting separation of powers -full stop . What is your opinion of the black sites , torture programs that the CIA operated , or apparently may still be operating ? I believe strongly that they were/ are counterproductive and do great damage to our own institutions. We hung Japanese Generals for waterboarding after WW 2.
Precisely what Japanese Generals were hung for the crime of just water boarding?
It seems to me my old asia hand daddy, used to mention the Japanese propensity for a little more lethal ( while inherently non productive ) things like beheading.
Like me,I suspect several other people on this blog have been subject to a little bit of the water board. So what? A day or two later, I was back in Newport Beach chasing women, and driving a 911 too fast. I’m sorry to dispel your myth, but neither I nor my mates at the time suffered any consequences from The HORRIBLE, OH SO HORRIBLE WATER BOARD.
It is uncomfortable as hell, yes. But it is not even remotely like being hooked up to electric wires or having your nails and teeth pulled out. Get a life, instead of mouthing liberal talking points.
Her words deserved to be spoken long,long ago. What really matters though are her actions. And the actions of those other legislators in fighting to regain their control over the intelligence and security services. So far, there have been no actions whatsoever. I find it exceedingly hard to believe that Fienstein is a new Wellstone or Fiengold. Much less a Mike Gravel.
ALL: Congress and its members have no original classification authority but they can do and must derivatively classify from time to time. All elected members of Congress have secret level clearances without full BIs.
J.Edgar Hoover held power so long in Washington because of his files and loaning FBI to favored Memebers of Congress. Anything different today would be a surprise.
My father always stressed that he thought the executions of Homma and Yamashita for planning and waging aggressive war and atrocities against prisoners in the Philippines were unjust since neither had any direct control over what happened to allied POWs and the first charge is just revenge. Since he had served 14 years in he islands, he had a dog in that fight. Like you I thought the experience of waterboarding in training was annoying but not more than that. pl
I’m still waiting for her colleague, the Honorable Deborah Stabenow, soon to be senior senator from Michigan, to introduce and vote in support of, legislation to overturn the military commissions act of 2006.
Feinstein may be a lot of things, but all along she was opposed to US torture practices during the Bush years. Unlike Obama, Feinstein’s not rolling over for the CIA. She says she wants an official public accounting of our Bush-era torture program. If that’s what we get, good for her.
Highlande, with respect, there is a difference between being waterboarded at a “code of conduct” course when you already know the outcome is benign and the real thing. Hope you enjoyed the 911. I spent yesterday driving a sportscar – my back told me not to do it again last night.
Col. Lang, my Father was in Manilla when the Japanese marched in and that day watched one officer beat a twelve year old Philipino boy to death for laughing at the way they marched.
Dad called the Japanese “the worlds largest tribe” and was ambivalent towards them to his death. Their treatment of prisoners derived from Bushido. The ones we captured that he interrogated in New Guinea expected the same treatment from us – or to be given Australian uniforms and weapons and made to fight on our side – which they could be required to do under Bushido.
The ones he had a hand in investigating and hanging after the war were directly responsible for ordering and organising executions of prisoners and interned civilians
Look at the weathered, angry, mean face of MS. Senator Feinstein. This is the face of person who has spent the last 60 or so years in the “SERVICE OF THE PEOPLE” in relatively low paying public service jobs. Yet some how, rather miraculously she has managed to accumulate a personal fortune in her own name of approximately $100,000,000 . US Federal Reserve certified.( the bank of” we the people”, don’t you believe it?)
She is no different from the Russian oligarchs, just runs her scam a little differently. Yet, the formerly cool state of California reelects this ancient scum bag over and over again. And in the red states, the red necks can’t wait to vote “The Bush Crime Family” back into office.
The good ole USA is like MH 370, all is well folks, we are passing thru 33,000 feet for 35,000 feet, and getting ready to tell Ho Chi Minh Flight Control, Good Morning.
A month or so later the mistake was made to run a bunch of Navy Seals thru the same E and E course, which included the water boarding. The SEALS captured the course compound from the instructors, and spent the day water boarding the instructors. It was during Vietnam, the Navy needed SEALS more than E and E instructors, so no foul.
Yea, my 911 back, and ejection seat back departed a long time ago. I am afraid I am reduced to Silverrado pick ups and sailplanes.
So two years into President Obama’s second term she’s still “wanting” a public accounting of the Bush-era torture program? She is the Intelligence Committee Chair, she’s had half a decade to subpoena anyone she needed to and have them testify in open session in front of the committee.
Highlander! Yes you are correct in that both Russian and USA oligarchs almost completely sympatico! Shared culture and operating style.
Yes Fred. We are waiting, but not because the Senate Intel hasn’t done it’s job. They produced a 6,000+ page torture report in 2012 that made the CIA very unhappy and that will be made public eventually, once the WH finally finishes declassifying it.
We call the Plutarchs of Russia gangsters and we call ours Job Creators. Theirs are reviled and ours are promoted as heroes we should all aspire to become.
Vida a la revolución!
Feinstein only expressed outrage when it began to be publicly noticed that the CIA was spying on her and her committee. Prior to that she has been a champion of the expansion of surveillance. Her concern may be about separation of powers, but it seems more that she expected to be an exception to the rules the rest of us labor under. She is right in her outrage, and it may well benefit the rest of us. But we deserve far better elected representatives, and ones that take the Constitution much more seriously.
I respect your opinion and service. – I could surmise that perhaps you are somehow associated with the SERE /BUDT training since you drive around Newport Beach , Ca chasing woman. I can only guess because I have never been in the military . But I do try to keep up with current affairs. If you were interested you might want to go look over R.John Pritchard work Tokyo War Crimes Trial. There Japanese General Officers executed for water boarding after WW 2.
A nigger and more urgent question for me is whether or not the CIA operated black sites after 911 that would include electric wires & tooth extractions . The point I was hoping to make is that We the People need to see the 6600 page Pannetta Report regarding the black sites to put the allegations of torture to rest once & for all . There is good reason under Constitution to pursue the release of the report – we need robust oversight of our Executive Branch by the Senate. Maybe you heard of this Highlander its called Checks & Balances , Separation of Powers .
I would also refer you to former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan as to why torture in genral not only rots our Collective Soul , but also does nothing to further actionable intelligence for the Shooters- .
Maybe Sen Rand Paul would be a different candidate for the GOP to run ,. And I would take one exception to the Bush Crime Family reference . Bush Sr actually tried to build consensus , and look after our collective Comity . In fact during the S & L Scandal he sent many of the financial fraudsters to jail . But fully agree that all the CongressCritters amass great wealth while serving . Thats exactly why the Farm Bill keeps getting passed – we are subsidizing them directly even.
Yes Feinstein is a hypocrite and generally a ridiculous person.Howerver, as you note, for whatever reason she does seem to be coming down on the right side of the torture/drone/preservation of powers issues.
On the subject of torture. Torture is a bad thing,both for the people that experience it and the people that inflict it.
A nation or military that inflicts it loses the moral level of War;this is the highest level and ultimately trumps the next levels [mental and physical]. The carefully controlled “harsh” conditions which many of us voluntarily experienced in SERE training was not torture. It was familiarization/exposure to methods that could be used for torture. That was the whole idea! All of the methods used [slapping, shaking, sleep deprivation, exposure to heat/cold, waterboarding, etc]when used more vigorously and for more extended periods of time can be/are methods of torture. A “live fire training course” at The Basic School is actually quite realistic in many ways and is helpful in the training of young officers.It includes some simplified and controlled aspects of combat. However, as many on this Committee can testify, it was not the same as their “baptism of fire” and I have never met a combat veteran that confused the two.
Well then we disagree on what needs to be done. A report, whether 6 pages or 6,000, is just a waste of trees. Let me know when Senatory Feinstein decides John Yoo and complany need to go to jail.
Back in 2009, Obama granted full-scale immunity to all gov’t officials involved in GWB’s torture program, even for lethal torture. So nobody’s gonna be held criminally accountable, nobody’s gonna “go to jail.”
What Feinstein and her committee can do is give us a public accounting of exactly what happened with regards to that torture program and let the chips fall. That’s what they’ve done in 6000+ pages. Now it’s up to the WH to release their report.
a bigger and more urgent question – instead of n -gger which was a typo .
The Obama White House will not release any such report voluntarily. Is there anything the Senate can do to . . uhh . . . “torture” the White House into releasing a report which it is bound and determined to never ever release?
As to Obama’s immunising and impunitizing of all the BushAdmin personnel involved in these things (including Bush and Cheney and other highest level people), would that grant of immunity and impunity have been impeachable in theory if anyone in the House had cared to try?
As an aside, Ares Armor is facing BATF raids for the names of people who bought 80% lowers. Ares Armor also squatted Feinstein’s URL after she forgot to renew it.
I’m sure there’s no coincidence there.
Re: ‘experience of waterboarding in training was annoying but not more than that’.
KSM was subjected to waterboarding 183 times, in addition to what they also put him through. SERE training aims on preparing a soldier and must stop well before that.
There probably is a qualitative difference betwen SERE training and use of waterboarding in interrogation.
The other thing is that waterboarding was marketed by the Bushmen as a sort of a ‘talk switch’. After just two and a half minutes even the toughest customers began so spill their beans!
If that was so, why the 183 times?
The WH is stuck in the middle of something big and nasty between the CIA and the Senate Intel Committee. The ramifications of that are something that someone like PL should comment on, not me.
The general consensus among reporters writing on this subject seems to be that the WH is declassifying now and will continue for a matter of months and that the Senate Report will be made public, “eventually.”
The Dems wouldn’t have impeached Obama and neither would the GOP, he saved their guys at a high cost to himself. While you, me and Jonathan Turley would like to have seen Cheney and all connected to the illegal torture program in jail, Obama probably figured that would have blown Washington to smithereens at the start of the height of a worldwide economic meltdown and he needed GOP cooperation to keep us economically afloat. It was a pragmatic decision that has come back to bite him in the ass.
I’m glad St. Obama and his administration have been doing nothing illegal since giving all those pardons in 2009. You may be happy with a report consisting of thousands of pieces of paper, I won’t.
Nothing that Senator Paul has said recently about any topic of interest has shown any nuanced or absolute differences from the positions of the usual neos wanting to continue to invade the world, be in debt to the world, and allow all the dregs of the world to be invited to enter but not have to assimilate into the USA. He might be his father’s son but he is far from being his father’s intellectual or moral heir.
That he has sucked up to the media powers and the hostile intellectual minority voices does not mean that he has a snowball’s chance of “movin on up”.
Why 183 times? Because the torturers were heroes and at no time enjoyed the repetitive nature of their employment. Even sadists need regular paychecks.
With Feinstein it is hard not to feel like her story changed only when it was her ox being gored. Regardless of her motivations though, Col. Lang is right about the role of Congress as a check on the Executive. She may be doing the right thing by happy accident.
I would have preferred to see that “blow it all up” risk taken even if some of the rubble bounced on to me way out here in Great Lakestan.
By immunizing and impunifying the CheneyBushians, Obama has made CheneyBushian governance entrenched, routinized and normalized.
Immunity and impunity for the BushCo-Cheney Group didn’t start with Obama. It started with Pelosi. I had a deep feeling and hope that the CIA and other intelligence community members would be prepared to take actions about the CheneyBush exposure and betrayal of Agent Plame and her proprietary cover bussiness in/with Iran. I imagined a scenario where the House Judiciary Committee would begin holding hearings about Articles of Impeachment maybe. And various intelligence people and groups and connected media would carefully meter out the exposure of more and more and more, something like happened during the Nixon period. It would lead to a carefully orchestrated paced building crescendo of dismay and disgust leading to Impeachment and Removal of Cheney, Bush and maybe others.
But it was not to be. Pelosi said “Impeachment is not on the table”. She even credibly threatened Rep. Conyers with removal from his Chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee if he dared to go ahead with hearings anyway. That was her ‘Ford pardons Nixon’ moment. She will go way down in history for that. I started calling it the Pelosi Bush Administration after that.
But what does she care? She stays rich regardless and she gets to treasure the historical asterisk beside her name.*
(* first female Speaker of the House).
“Nothing that Senator Paul has said recently about any topic of interest has shown any nuanced or absolute differences from the positions of the usual neos wanting to continue to invade the world, be in debt to the world, and allow all the dregs of the world to be invited to enter but not have to assimilate into the USA.”
I won’t quibble with you about “dregs of the world” since my own family certainly fit the bill. I do disagree that we have a big problem with assimilation. The biggest example I can think of would be Hispanic immigrants holding on to the Spanish language but this isn’t a problem for their children. What other types of assimilation problems have you noticed?
The first ones to come to mind are the Hmong and Somali refugee problems in Minnesota and Maine.
When I was a student at the academy here in bricstan, in one of those lunches with the high command I learned that our vice-director had been involved in the torture of political prisioners during the days of the fight against the communist revolutionaries. I found he was very boastful of his work then and in fact seemed to have relished torturing people.
But what I as a young person was seeing around me at that time was the vaning of the “military regime” and the growing hostility of the civil society towards it, which was by and by being referred to as the “military dictatorship,” even in some parts of the hitherto subservient big media.
Inside there was lewd talk about torture, outside there was angry talk about justice.
To make things worse, in conjunction with this watching of my top notch highest-ranking field officer brightly talk about torture there was the perception I had that the mindset of the military at that time of change into civilian rule had become one of preservation of the many financial benefits they had bestowed on themselves while in the seat of power. That before country and principles there came now pensions, representations, commissions in foreign countries and the many little things hidden in the paycheck.
Torture had been the prelude to an inexorable path of corruption.
To this day “truth comissions” are formed in the guise of accountability of the torture program. “Truth,” now a name for the exploitation of the anguish of the relatives of disappeared people for petty revenge, political gain and social status in a country where the left reigns supreme.
And I suspect this is also the why the Durham investigation found no culpability . Zero , zip, nothing happens to the Elites that ordered the torture in our name .
Sorry to delay in replying to you, but real life intrudes from time to time.
As a matter of detail. Only 15 very high ranking Japanese leaders were actually executed for their leadership of Japanese Bushido inspired war crimes.
None of them where specifically charged with what we “pansie round eyes” call “water boarding” .
Actually , what we/you and Walrus call the morally dodgey technique of water boarding, is actually a very weak copy of what the Japanese used as WATER TORTURE ( the Japanese would actually use tubes to force up to 5 gallons of a kerosene/water mixture down a prisoners throat. They would then stand on or kick the prisoner’s stomach so he would throw up the mixture, and they could repeat the process all over again) nice guys.
The Japanese barbarity makes the CIA techniques look pretty damn tame. In effect our water boarding techniques are really just “simulated water torture”.
The black site techniques used by the spookies( at least the admitted to ones), seem to me to be very effective in getting the Muzzie crazies to feel helpless, and in turn to start talking to their interrogators over a period of time.
You and others are disingenuous in flatly declaring torture doesn’t work.
“You only get what the subject thinks you want to hear”.
But that is less than half of the story. If a competent interrogator gets you talking under any circumstance, he takes you over the same issues over and over again, eventually you lose track of what lies you may or not have told him. He applies a little statistical analysis to what you have told him. Then compares your story with proven third party facts, and more often than not, he comes up with true information.
I could not agree more with your assertion that we need increased oversight of our now Imperial Presidents. NO MATTER WHAT HIS POLITICAL PARTY!
We now are in the era of MULTI NATIONAL CORPORATE STATE control. The corporate state needs to keep us in a constant war/ counter terrorism emergency state of readiness. It is easier to do this thru one Imperial President, than hundreds of legislators.
I ALSO AGREE WITH YOU, AS TO THE NEED FOR CONSTITUTIONALLY BASED CHECKS AND BALANCES. If you will have noticed for approximately 20 years, there has been a steady drum beat of propaganda from the MSM corporate media denigrating the people’s legislative representatives. In my opinion this was no accident, but rather a conscious effort to undermine our constitutional system by elevating the emperor (president) completely over the 535 members of the Senate and House.
The legislators may not be sterling, but at the end of the day. They are a heck of a lot closer to all of us, than some bought and paid for emperor like US PRESIDENT.(Obama and Georgie Bush)