Author Topic: Feinstein doesn’t like the CIA spying on her committee. But she’s fine with NSA  (Read 1533 times)

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Offline Elaine Davis

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Feinstein doesn’t like the CIA spying on her committee. But she’s fine with NSA bulk data collection.

By Andrea Peterson
  • March 12 at 11:17 am

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) speaks to reporters after finishing a speech on the Senate floor, on March 11, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Feinstein who is Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has accused the CIA of secretly removing documents from computers used by the committee. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein (D, Calif.) made waves Tuesday when she publicly accused the Central Intelligence Agency of spying on Senate computers in an alleged attempt to thwart her committee's investigation into Bush era interrogation and detention practices. The senator even suggested that the agency had violated the Constitution and federal law.

But while Feinstein is up in arms about the intelligence agency's search of her staff's computer system and network, she has been an avid defender of National Security Agency surveillance programs. "It’s called protecting America," she said shortly after the news broke that the NSA was collecting domestic phone records in bulk. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Feinstein further suggested that the 9/11 terrorist attack likely would have been prevented if the phone metadata program was in place. And when it came to reform, many privacy advocates and journalists have suggested that her proposal for changes to the spy agency's programs amounted to codifying certain powers and expanding others.

Given her very public stance in the surveillance debate over the past nine months, many were quick to notice the apparent disconnect. On Twitter, Cato research fellow Julian Sanchez quipped about alleged CIA actions merely being a form of metadata search. Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the source of the leaks about the phone records collection and other government spying programs, even weighed in.

"It's clear the CIA was trying to play 'keep away' with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that's a serious constitutional concern,” said Snowden in a statement to NBC News. “But it's equally if not more concerning that we're seeing another 'Merkel Effect,' where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it's a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them."

Snowden's remarks refer to the reaction of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the fact that she was personally spied on, in contrast to her reaction to the news of bulk surveillance program.

Interestingly, one of the few divides between Feinstein and the NSA was over their surveillance of friendly foreign leaders. In October, she said a "total review" of those programs was necessary. However, she made it clear it didn't change her opinion of bulk surveillance programs.

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“Unlike NSA’s collection of phone records under a court order, it is clear to me that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee was not satisfactorily informed. Therefore our oversight needs to be strengthened and increased," Feinstein said. “With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of U.S. allies — including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany — let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed."
GOD FORBID THE LIGHTS GO OUT and a zillion brains have to be retrained to function in manual reality.

Does anyone else get the idea that the tweets on the WL account are starting to sound a little like someone is bathing in a bird bath, eating bird food & possibly smoking bird * in his own sphere??

Offline Riney

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"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin .. and yet we must arm ourselves with fear