That is all...
CIA officers allegedly hacked into the US Senate Intelligence Committee's computers to find out what the oversight committee had found out about its controversial detention and treatment of terror suspects. The oversight committee had managed to get its hands on unapproved material, or so the CIA feared, the New York Times …
"The CIA allegedly insisted that Senate committee staff and members could only review classified cables at a secure facility in Northern Virginia"
This raises the question of who runs the USA. Congress or the CIA and other security units.
These people need to be whipped back into line and told in no uncertain terms that they are the servants and not the masters.
The most troubling thing to me is that we know some of what goes on in the US but have no idea who is running the UK. The elected government, however ineffective, or the likes of MI5 and GCHQ.
We must tell the guardians a 'noble lie'. The noble lie will assure them that they are better than those they serve and it is therefore their responsibility to guard and protect those lesser than themselves. We will instill in them a distaste for power or privilege; they will rule because they believe it right, not because they desire it.
Looks like we can now see what Platos republic would have led to.
"This raises the question of who runs the USA .. but have no idea who is running the UK. The elected government, however ineffective, or the likes of MI5 and GCHQ"
Oh, come on, there is *no* question as to who really runs the place, but like Dracula their power only functions in the shadows ...
"Oh, come on, there is *no* question as to who really runs the place, but like Dracula their power only functions in the shadows ..."
I see! So, you hold that the CIA writes laws and also authorizes their own budget, not Congress?
Wrong and wrong.
Indeed, that was how the CIA was brought to heel back in the 1960's. The power of the pen held by a lot of pissed of Congresscritters.
But in either case, if monitoring did in fact occur, it may have violated an agreement between the committee and the CIA.
Bullshit. This is a violation of several National Security directives, as well as an obvious and clear violation of the U.S. Constitution's Separation of Powers (the Executive branch spying on the Legislative branch). I'm sure there is a phone book's worth of laws broken here.
This is Obama using the U.S. Constitution as toilet paper. Only a mindless laughable tool wouldn't see this as a criminal and impeachable offense.
So, another fanboy who insists that the POTUS micromanages every agency he's in charge of.
I've heard the same bullshit over soldiers murdering civilians, where apparently, the POTUS must've failed to directly supervise Privates in the middle of a war.
The reality is, the CIA has gotten out of control in the past, Congress brought them back under control by power of the budget.
this so called 'spying' used to occur just outside the halls of Congress in idle chit chat or over a few martinis in some dimly lit Georgetown restaurant (all done without recorders or hidden mikes). gossip betwixt trusting elements within any social structure have been going on since humans emergence from jungles and caves. actually, a lot of this still does. check your calendars, they may be unusually revealing.
Neither the executive nor the legislative branch of the U. S. government "runs" the USA in a meaningful sense. It is useful to remember that, and that an executive agency like the CIA (or DoD/NSA) does not for long go far beyond what the top level executives and the President approve if the Congress takes issue with it. The process is political at the core, and often accompanied by great posturing and puffing, such as we see today over the CIA and the report on torture.
"Enhanced interrogation techniques" were approved by the President (of the time), disapproved by a later President and (we hope) discontinued. They were investigated by the Congress, subject to constraints established by the executive agency involved but agreed to by the Congress. There is no chance that the President was unaware of or disagreed with this. The article reports claims that both the congressional investigators and their CIA hosts failed to comply with the ground rules. The claims, while serious, will be resolved in the usual way, by the elected officials (both legislative and executive and the executive branch political appointees. The people, as always, will largely* ignore the whole thing.
While the UK has different arrangements, possibly somewhat less constrained by semi-immutable documents like the US Constitution, I expect things are done in much the same way. In either country, governments may change after varying periods, but the regime is almost certain to remain largely unchanged.
*One of the main exceptions being those who comment on articles like this one and the NYTimes article on which it is based.
"does not for long go far beyond what the top level executives and the President approve if the Congress takes issue with it. "
Three words: Bay of Pigs. One example out of many of an out of control CIA back in the 1960's. Congress brought them under control, as the POTUS suffered from high velocity lead poisoning before he could try to get them under control.
Never piss of the folks who hold the pen that signs your paycheck.
"Three words: 'Bay of Pigs'". This is a particularly bad example, as the undertaking was known and approved by both President Eisenhower and President Kennedy. The CIA sponsors evidently were wrong in predicting success, but were operating with approval of their supervisory chain.
First, the CIA is not permitted, by charter approved by Congress, to operate within the United States of America. Not even to investigate a leak to Congress. That is the job of the FBI.
Second, the CIA may not investigate their oversight authority. That undermines the entirety of oversight, as does forbidding the oversight authority to perform their Constitutionally mandated oversight from their own offices (each house of Congress has its own SCIF to read TS and SCI data).
So, we've seem to have come full circle from the 1960's, when the CIA had to be reined in due to unlawful domestic activities.
Most likely via the budget axe.
Although it's been depicted in many movies, the fact that the CIA has operated autonomously as a law unto itself certainly in the 1950's, 60's & 70's has been pretty well documented in several serious & respected publications/whistleblowings.
The only difference between now and then is that they're a little less blatant about it.
After all, they're keeping the world safe for Democracy, Mom's Apple Pie, and the American Way...
"Almost as worrying is the reference to 'improperly' spying on senators. To me that implies that they have a proper way of going about such activities and may even be a regular occurrence for all we know."
Well, it's not out of the question that a senator could be leaking information like a sieve (remember senators are career politicians with personal and corporate agendas, rather than service personnel and strict patriots), so there are occasions where spying on your own politicians is perfectly legit.
Just because politicians write the rules, it does not mean they are above suspicion and investigation (or indeed prosecution).
> Just because politicians write the rules, it does not mean they are above suspicion and investigation (or indeed prosecution).
Can't remember a CIA or MI5 investigation having led to politicians being found out, isn't that done by journalists on the rare occasion they get lucky while politician's wrong-doings in all other cases probably never sees the light of day?
My 'knowledge' of the CIA is limited to what you see in the movies but I thought they weren't allowed to operate in the USA itself. Won't they get into trouble for that?
No, when Obama reaffirmed the Patriot Act the second time he also approved the CIA operating inside the US, just as the Secret Service can now operate outside the US.
When it comes to civil rights in the past six years, all Americans are frogs, being slowly cooked, slowly cooked...
"I guess the US can now stop pretending it's a democracy .."
Nope all that's come to pass has been voted on and passed by elected representatives, it truly is democracy (at its worst) in action.
Now the USA as a true republic*... That has loong since passed.
*A republic is a form of government in which power is held by the people and representatives they elect, and affairs of state are a "public matter" (from Latin: res publica), rather than privately accommodated.
"I guess the US can now stop pretending it's a democracy .."
It might not be the one you want it to be, but it's still democratic. Granted, 10% of your population are the ones whose votes count, and once you vote someone in he's owned by whatever organisations put him there, but it's still a democracy and you still have more human rights than 90% of the planet.
Try living in an actual dictatorial shit-hole for a few years for reference: It makes you really appreciate what you have.
For example, living in the States really brought home the value of the NHS and social services to me.
"For example, living in the States really brought home the value of the NHS and social services to me."
I understand why you said that, but my gran would have lived a hell of a lot longer had they fed and watered her instead of being put on the Liverpool death list. They perform euthanasia on a daily basis in the UK but you aren't allowed to decide for yourself, and you don't get a needle, you get dessicated to death - it isn't pretty.
There are times when a system is so badly screwed up that you have to give up trying to patch it and just have to shut it down and design something new that works.
The USian 'security' services seem to have reached that point. The NSA, CIA etc are so totally corrupt and broken that they need to be immediately wound up and a new, properly controlled and appropriate security service built up from scratch, with no staff transferred from the old ones (who can be shipped to Gitmo for a few years). Yes it will hurt in the short term, but it's the only long term solution.
1. You repeatedly apply for Security Cleared Jobs.
2. You hardly ever get an interview.
3. When you do, you do spectacularly well,
4. But then fail to get a job, fail to be told why, fail to understand it.
5. For several years in a row.
It's even worse if.
1. You arrive in King Charles Street,
2. Your interview is changed at the last minute.
3. Despite nothing written on your CV, he knows you aren't cleared.
4. He then tells you to go home.
Because you're on a watch list. Your job applications are being monitored, and if you're likely to be getting a job, they intervene.
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