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Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On CIA Interference with Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Investigation


I commend Chairman Feinstein for speaking so forcefully in defense of the indispensable role that Congress plays under our Constitution in overseeing the executive branch, and in particular the intelligence community. Chairman Feinstein described a troubling pattern of interference and intimidation by the CIA that raises serious questions about possible violations of the Constitution and our criminal laws. This only compounds the grave concerns I have had for years about the underlying conduct that the Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating: the torture of detainees during the previous administration. I fully support Chairman Feinstein’s efforts to seek declassification of her committee’s report on the CIA detention and interrogation program.

This is not just about getting to the truth of the CIA’s shameful use of torture. This is also about the core founding principle of the separation of powers, and the future of this institution and its oversight role. The Senate is bigger than any one Senator. Senators come and go, but the Senate endures. The members of the Senate must stand up in defense of this institution, the Constitution, and the values upon which this nation was founded.

I applaud Chairman Feinstein for her work on this matter, and will continue to support her efforts. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has oversight over the Department of Justice, I will work to ensure that the Senate’s constitutional role is respected and protected.

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Link to Sen Feinstein's statement & Intercept commentary

Have to admit to sufficient cynicism to believe Sen Feinstein would settle for an apology from the CIA, even at this point but here's the link to her statement:
http://www.kansascity.com/2014/03/11/4881128/feinstein-statement-on-inte...

Dan Froomkin, now writing for The Intercept, weighs in on this "constitutional crisis":
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/11/cia-search-congressional-c...

Think our President or any of our apparently agitated leaders in the Senate will do the right thing and release the SSCI torture report w/ CIA official response AND the internal CIA review that everyone is so worried about seeing the light of day? Or are we going to have to wait for them to be leaked? It's only a matter of time...

 
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Hmmm

He didn't commend me for writing to him forcefully about a troubling pattern of interference and intimidation by our government. : )

Feinstein defends the intelligence collection as long as isn't her stuff they are collecting. Just months ago she mentioned how we should relax and trust that they are "professionals" who would never abuse their powers.

It's absolutely ridiculous that the CIA is spying on Congress, that the NSA is spying on Congress, and that the FBI is probably doing the same. It's absurd that we are paying for all of this, and they are all spying on us, too.

It's time to stop calling these rogue agencies "intelligence" - it's an army of spies spying on itself and everyone, poorly.

Stop funding them. We could use road repair much more.

 
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Accolades Abounding

I commend you, Chris!

 
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Into the weeds...

for those interested in some of the back story, Marcy Wheeler reports on Robert Eatinger, the CIA lawyer who apparently aimed to intimidate SSCI staff:

http://www.emptywheel.net/2014/03/11/robert-eatinger-lawyer-who-approved...

Per Sen Feinstein (w/o naming), Eatinger is mentioned 1600 times in the SSCI torture report. He apparently was one of the lawyers who "sanctioned" the destruction of the torture tapes way back when.

Think we'll see a bit of JUSTICE on the torture front any time soon? What say you, Senator Leahy?

 
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Vid of Feinstein & Leahy statements / EW on buried bodies

Here's a link for those who prefer to watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7vBSk-U5aM

The bloggers & commenters on Emptywheel discuss whether this is a strategy by the Dems to get the torture reports released prior to election and how Brennan might leverage President Obama's and Senator Feinstein's approval of the murder of a US citizen in this matter:
http://www.emptywheel.net/2014/03/11/where-the-bodies-are-buried-a-const...

[ FYI - Marcy's blog post also discusses how DOJ has previously taken a powder on torture crimes. ]

 
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Selective Due Diligence

Leahy:"The members of the Senate must stand up in defense of this institution, the Constitution, and the values upon which this nation was founded."

Gee, I wonder if this new burst of Constitutional loyalty means he, as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is now going to investigate wrongdoings at the IRS, executive branch overreach, the Bengazi lies, the Justice Department that selectively enforces the laws they agree with and not the ones they don't. I doubt it. Few in Washington are more partisan than our Senator Leahy. In his judicial chair capacity, he only get's excited when he can go after the other side. I have no respect for the guy.

 
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"The Bengazi lies"

I assume you mean the conspiracy theory invented by the Republican Bureau of Propaganda, I mean Fox News, and "investigated" by former car thief, arsonist, and probably the most corrupt politician in Washington, Darrell Issa?

 
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Lies, big lies

Nope, just lies, an ambassador dies and it's fine ? ?? Dem cover up at its best!

 
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Marcy weighs in...

My fave blogger makes her debut on The Intercept, discussing what & why President Obama may be resisting disclosing certain torture documents:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/13/president-obama-covering-p...

 
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Amazing

The response from the President who is ostensibly in charge of the CIA? ~crickets chirping~

 

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