Baseball91's Weblog

August 1, 2014

The Executive Branch Was Spying on the Legislative Branch

Filed under: United States Constitution — baseball91 @ 2:26 PM

NSA logo It has been thirteen years worth of erosion of the U S Constitution since the Patriot Act was passed.. And with this new laxity over human rights in the United States, both under Democrat and Republican Administrations, Congress cannot get public answers from the Executive Branch.

In November 2013, in a new poll released by Quinnipiac University, the majority of American voters, by percentages of 52 – 44 percent feel that President Obama is not honest and trustworthy. The Legislative branch of government apparently now is catching up with the voting public.

The McClatchy Washington Bureau indicated this week that findings by the Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency contradicted the denial by John Brennan, the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, about allegations by chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-California) concerning the Panetta Review report.

One day after seeing an elected politician living in the White House admit that he was spying on the elected leaders from his own political party in Congress, Senator Mark Udall, D-Colorado Udall, who serves on the Intelligence Committee, and Senator Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico called for the resignation of the CIA spy chief.

Said Senator Angus King, a Maine senator from the Independent Party, “We are the only people watching these organizations. If we can’t rely on the information that we are given as being accurate, then it makes a mockery of the entire oversight function.”

It was part of their anguish that came to those who spent time trying to deal with those with ambition, to understand your distant neighbors who ran under the same umbrella that got you elected .. When up until now only journalists like James Risen got caught in the middle. “In violation of the constitutional separation of powers,” the CIA had been tampering with the work of the Senate committee by searching through computers provided by the CIA so the Senate committee could access classified documents on a RDINet network.

The McClatchy Washington Bureau quotes an unnamed gutless CIA source “who asked not to be further identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly,” that there “was no malicious intent. They acted in good faith believing they had the legal standing to do so,” said a knowledgeable person. Five CIA employees, two lawyers and three information technology specialists improperly accessed or “caused access” to a database that only committee staff were permitted to use, Inspector General David Buckley reported.

While CIA employees were attempting to discover how congressional aides had obtained a secret CIA internal report on THE interrogation program, “some” employees acted in a manner inconsistent with “the common understanding reached” in 2009 between the CIA and lawmakers when the Senate Committee Investigation had been launched. The prepared statement to the press from the Media Relations Department of the CIA made reference to the CIA’s inspector general findings. When the “some” members of the legislative branch had been in bed with the Executive Branch and trusted too much .. when even in America, absolute power always corrupts.

In April 2014, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that she hoped key portions of the report for a Senate investigation launched more than five years ago, could be declassified within 30 days. On May 15, 2014, the Washington Post reported based upon a request the Obama administration filed in federal court, the CIA was still months away from approving the release of a long-awaited portions of a report for a Senate investigation sharply critical of the CIA’s harsh interrogation measures on terrorism suspects after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

According to a summary of the findings prepared for the Senate and House intelligence committees and released by the CIA, the Buckley inquiry determined that a CIA crimes report to the Justice Department alleging that the panel staff removed classified documents from a top-secret facility without authorization was based on “inaccurate information.”

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon called for further investigation. His demands clashed with a desire by President Barack Obama, the CIA, and “some” lawmakers to move beyond this controversy over the “enhanced interrogation program” after Senator Feinstein releases next week the report by her committee.

Said the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia: “This is very, very serious. And I will tell you as a member of the committee, as someone who has great respect for the CIA, I am extremely disappointed in the actions of the agents of the CIA who carried out this breach of the committee’s computers.”

If people carry a perception that you can find truth and Justice here, you will establish a trusting society.  But what will happen if the perception of the majority is otherwise?  The previous lowest marks on the honesty of this president were May 30, 2014 when 49 percent of voters said he was honest and 47 percent said he was not. The CIA and the NSA were working directly for and only for the Executive Branch – in this case spying on the U S Senate – in a nation where it had once been believed that government should be of laws and not of men. How would this imbalance of power affect the next person who held the chair as chief executive?

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  1. When it came to the human condition, one day someone will be able to make a connection to what the individual men and women were doing going through the motions of their job, trying to turn something into a personal advantage, to profit …. like the news story out of Georgia this morning:

    “The Georgia peanut plant manager testified Friday that his company had been shipping contaminated nuts with fake documents showing them to be salmonella-free before the plant was identified as the source of an outbreak that killed nine, including three Minnesotans.”

    Comment by baseball91 — August 9, 2014 @ 4:15 PM | Reply

  2. “You’ve got two or three or four thousand people running around doing espionage. You can’t monitor it. You can’t control it. You can’t check it. And that’s probably the biggest problem with an espionage service. It has to be small. The minute you get big, you get like the KGB, or you get like us.

    —from Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner, a quote of Aldrich Ames, a CIA American traitor

    The Press Release from Senator Martin Heyrich’s Office:

    April 4, 2016

    NSA logo WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Intelligence Committee members U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) praised the CIA’s decision to drop a proposal to destroy the vast majority of its emails, rather than archive them like other government agencies. Wyden and Heinrich issued a joint statement commending the CIA’s decision to drop the plan: “Given the grave importance of CIA operations, it is critical to preserve the agency’s emails, to enable independent oversight and an accurate historical record. Sensitive sources and methods should remain secret, but preserving records, including emails, is necessary for strong oversight of our intelligence agencies.”

    “Wyden and Heinrich, with former Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., urged the CIA to abandon its plan to destroy their own emails, in a November 2014 letter. The senators argued that important information about the CIA’s actions and decision-making is often contained only in email records, and that other intelligence agencies would seek to follow the CIA’s lead if the plan went into effect.”

    Meanwhile, neither the mammoth Senate torture report nor key portions of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation report which focused upon things happening now more than seven years ago has been declassified.

    Michael Isikoff writes, “the office of the CIA inspector-general — the spy agency’s internal watchdog providing accountability within the agency — has acknowledged it ‘mistakenly’ destroyed its only copy of the 6,700-page, three-volume mammoth Senate Intelligence Committee report at the same time lawyers for the Justice Department were assuring a federal judge that copies of the document were being preserved.”

    “While another copy of the report exists elsewhere at the CIA, the erasure of the controversial document by the office charged with policing agency conduct has alarmed the U.S. senator — Diane Feinstein — who oversaw the torture investigation and reignited a behind-the-scenes battle over whether the full unabridged report should ever be released, according to multiple intelligence community sources familiar with the incident.”

    In April 2016, it has come to light that Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Burr (R) of North Carolina of the Senate Intelligence Committee introduced the Burr-Feinstein anti-encryption bill which endangers American digital security and privacy. Senator Burr has demanded in the past that the White House “return the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report and called for Senate Intelligence Committee to bury the CIA’s study of its own wrongdoing,” according to Sascha Meinrath of the Christian Science Monitor.

    Comment by baseball91 — May 10, 2016 @ 11:12 PM | Reply

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