Thursday, March 06, 2014

Maybe They'll Finally Do SOMEthing

The CIA searched computers intended to be used solely by the Senate Intelligence Committee in an apparent effort to determine how committee staff members gained access to a draft version of an internal agency review of its controversial interrogation program, U.S. officials said.

The action, some officials say, would mark the first time a U.S. intelligence agency has accessed congressional computers and would be an apparent violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers.

So the CIA finally decided that Senators are people, too?

It’s not the separation of powers that should concern Senators: it’s the fact that the CIA is directly tasked with espionage overseas, not domestically (that’s the purview of the NSA, thankyewverymuch).

And it’s not like this is an ambiguous situation. We’ve been down this road already once in recent memory.

As with many things CIA, it looks like a case of trying to intimidate and badger people looking into behaviors they would prefer be kept under wraps, no matter how sworn to secrecy that investigator(s) might be. I can understand that a spy agency might want to keep a lower profile about some of the sausage-making it has to perform – after all, imagine if someone got a whiff of Zero Dark Thirty ahead of time – but Senators?

And even allowing for the grandstanding many of them, who really ought to know better, engage in, it might be a good idea to rein in the hounds.