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back to article CIA hacked Senate PCs to delete torture reports. And Senator Feinstein is outraged

US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has issued a rare public rebuke to the CIA after the agency hacked into a Senate committee's computers to remove documents describing agents' torture enhanced interrogation of terrorist suspects. "I have asked for an apology and a recognition that this CIA search of computers used by its …

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Black Helicopters

Schadenfreude

Surely, if Feinstein's got nothing to hide, she's got nothing to fear.

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Big Brother

Re: Schadenfreude

I'd like to comment on this topic, but I'm not sure of the wisdom of so doing.

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Big Brother

Re: Schadenfreude

Agreed - I'm going to have to pull that comment down. Dangerous waters right now.

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Re: Schadenfreude

"nothing to fear" ... except losing the Senate majority to the Republicans in November, if they can feign outrage and indignation better than the Dems do during the campaigns.

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Re: Schadenfreude

Oh, CIA.. I missed my key at home.. please don't steal that and definitely not remove those gory documents from my closet..will you

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Roo
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Re: Schadenfreude

"Surely, if Feinstein's got nothing to hide, she's got nothing to fear."

Well, whatever Feinstein's personal situation is it is clear that the CIA clearly have a lot to hide from the people who are meant to be providing oversight. Presumably they are hiding stuff because they've done something bad, right ? :)

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Re: Schadenfreude

I don't think it is Feinstein who has to worry. The CIA does though. It holds that if the CIA has nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Schadenfreude

Right with you on the schadenfreude, but still, this is precisely the type of abuse of power we should most fear: Our own process of democratic self-governance is being manipulated by the CIA. Not unprecedented, but deeply disturbing. This should have been the topmost concern for all observers since the Snowden revelations and it has come to pass.

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Roo
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Windows

Blimey.

Pretty blatant piss-taking by the CIA, and of course interfering with the proper oversight of their activities. Seems unlikely that we'll see some CIA bods prosecuted for Treason, so my money is on no one taking the rap and no significant change taking place...

It would be nice to be surprised. Anyone else got a guess as to what happens next ?

Tempting to run a sweep stake on the outcome. No idea where I would start placing odds on Feinstein having an unlikely accident though. :/

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Re: Blimey.

> Seems unlikely that we'll see some CIA bods prosecuted for Treason, so my money is on no one taking the rap and no significant change taking place...

Someone should be going to jail for a long time for this.

But I think you're right. The law only apply to us plebs. Our overlords play by different rules.

Isn't this kind of thing what the writers of the US constitution had in mind?

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Trollface

Re: Blimey." I see Pinko Commie Faggots"

<snip>

"Tempting to run a sweep stake on the outcome. No idea where I would start placing odds on Feinstein having an unlikely accident though. :/"

I think that a nice little audit of her financial dealings {e.g. tax,} sexual habits, employee record at various jobs, C.V (all of them, are there any false statements or wishful thinking?), dealings with public and or private entities, statements in public and or private etc. Should be able to convict her or destroy her reputation.

The above is just a few quick thoughts from my laptop in bar with wine at my side. Give me a few hours and I could provide you with a list that would ultimately lead to the character assassination of anybody, me included.

Do not forget that the U.S. has killed people for their radical opinions (e.g. support for the Muj in the Ghan) which were totally in-line with U.S. policy at the time {80s}. Bring it into the present and errr, you are hoist by a petard with made in USA on it.

The CIA were emasculated to a certain extent by Rumsfeld and Cheney with the beast called JSOC. Now the CIA are trying to regain lost ground so anything could happen.

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Stop

Re: Blimey." I see Pinko Commie Faggots"

"Feinstein...sexual habits".

I need my brains erased with mind rubbers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blimey." I see Pinko Commie Faggots"

I think that a nice little audit of her financial dealings {e.g. tax,} sexual habits, employee record at various jobs, C.V (all of them, are there any false statements or wishful thinking?), dealings with public and or private entities, statements in public and or private etc. Should be able to convict her or destroy her reputation.

A smear campaign doesn't really need to be connected to any real facts. Some mud will always stick.

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Re: Blimey.

Why would they off Feinstein? She's been their biggest supporter/apologist, current outrage notwithstanding. The senators sniff trouble, they'll put Rand Paul (or actually, a like-minded Democrat, since Sen. Paul is a Republican and so realistically isn't currently eligible) in as the Intelligence Committee chair, and watch how the CIA likes *that*.

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Pirate

No worries...

"Besides the constitutional implications, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance."

None of which really bothers the CIA all that much. Those are mortal laws. The CIA is above such petty inconveniences. I'm sure if a sharp-eyed legal eagle went looking, he could find something, somewhere, that could stop the CIA's abuse, but we'd probably not hear about it before he got waterboarded to death.

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Heh

Though she is right. The CIA is forbidden from operating within the US. That alone makes it unlawful for them to have deleted stuff from the oversight committee.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Heh

That one - no. However, they have tried running a bog standard dirty op on her staffers via the press which is something they are definitely prohibited from.

In any case, cry me a river senator. You are now getting a taste of your own medicine - being on the receiving side of an agency which is accusomed to being allowed post-factum anything it has decided to do at the time. It is not what it is doing which is the problem. It is "this will be approved anyway" mentalit. That is something Ms Feinstein has been instrumental in establishing as a status quo. Who sows wind, shall harvest a tempest. Enjoy.

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Re: Heh

1, But the law doesn't apply to "cross border areas" which is anywhere within 100mi of a coastline or the canada/Mexico border.

2, Washington isn't a state

3, We're the fscking CIA, we don't need no steenkin laws

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A hypocritical politician? say it isn't so.

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A hypocritical politician

Not at all hypocritical.

She approves of the NSA spying on potential terrorists - like all Americans and all foreigners.

But anyone in government can't possibly be a bad guy so it is wrong to spy on them,

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Anonymous Coward

What a sick joke

I'd take the NSA over the arse clowns in Congress including not-so-fine and very clueless Feinstein.

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Re: What a sick joke

"What a sick joke"

Quite the apt summary of your post.

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Devil

When the Foo shites, wear it ...

Feinstein has screamed for Snowden's head on a pike ... now she screams that she's been violated by an agency's disregard for her Constitutional protections!

When we citizens are violated, that's a possible concern ... when our politician is violated, that's priceless!

Don't expect her to forgive Snowden, or to cause more than some CIA lackey to be tossed to the wolves. Big news today; old news tomorrow.

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Re: When the Foo shites, wear it ...

Isn't it amazing that the talking heads in government who tell us not to be upset about all this are now yelling the loudest? Those in power have just realized that there's a darker power behind the throne and while they may use that darker power on others, they don't like it used on themselves. I'm sure in the so-called bad examples of the world, that they have a similar dark power behind them which may turn on them for any of a 100 reasons.

I guess there's a reason that Congress has been trying to find out if the CIA and NSA have been monitoring them. Now that they know, I wonder which ones will be made an example of.

There's been a lot of conspiracy talk over the years about a certain Congress Critter who's wife was on a plane that crashed and that the crash was to shut him up. There have been others also including a President and his brother. But I digress...

If I disappear soon... I guess the dark powers will have come for me.

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Black Helicopters

So the CIA...

...wants us to believe that their computers got hacked by Congressional staffers?

(because everyone knows Congressional staffers have the 'leet-est haxor skillz)

And they don't expect to be immediately fired for allowing such a breech?

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Re: So the CIA...

I believe it's more subtle than that. The CIA set up, and loaded data into, an airgapped network for the use of the Congress committee personnel, to trawl through the Big Data (a technique called "I Dunno, It's In There Somewhere, Guv"). Later, the CIA discovered that one of the needles extracted from the haystack was something that they would rather not have disclosed to the committee. How inconvenient. So they deleted some of the data that they had previously supplied to Congress, presumably thinking "hey, this is our network, ain't it? Well, look here, we've got access and everything, why don't we just put it right with a touch of rm?". Sen. Feinstein doesn't see it this way. She doesn't think her oversight should be partially blinded.

FWIW, neither do I. There should be nothing that the CIA hides from the appointed overseers, and that should go for all the TLA's, and the four-letter one in the UK.

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Black Helicopters

Re: So the CIA...

Go back to your Bond film ... this is real life, this is: we do what we want, where we want, when we want, no laws of any country on planet earth have anything to say ...

They have been conducting torture in many countries, including, and not limited to, Poland, Germany, France, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mexico and the US (of course) ... these are specific cases of which I know, and I do not even follow their shit thoroughly.

These guyz will not abide to any laws, they are the real guyz in charge ... JFK, heard of him ? Eisenhower, heard of him ? If you still don't see a connection, I think you can pluck your head back into the sand ...

.... shit, choppers ... brb

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Huh

Who'da thunk it?

When folks cried about the wolves this is the lady who said they imagined it. When folks explained how the wolves ate all the chickens this lady called them whacko conspiracy theorists who couldn't be trusted. When someone provided chickens in the wolf shit and documented proof of the wolves she called him a traitor. So now that the wolves have taken a bite of her pie all I can say is "How's that gander sauce Mrs. Goose? The Uchan-su flows just for you."

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Feinstein

If I remember correctly, not only did she call for Snowden's head on a pike but she was actually OK with the horse crap that the NSA was committing. Surely the 'good' Senator has nothing to hide! Now the upper hand is on the other foot, she's whining.

I am so not a fan of all the political posturing, finger pointing or foul calling. But for this pig eyed sack of shit to want her cake & eat it too is just too much. As far as I'm concerned, there should be some accountability in the executive and legislative branches of the American government.

Which is the more grievous offense Senator, the NSA spying on the citizens of the US and other countries of the world or the CIA spying on you and your cronies? You are required to follow the same laws I do and I am supposedly afforded the same constitutional guarantees and protection, that you are (insert eye roll here). This "do as I say, not as I do" shit has to end now.

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the only reason that DF would dare complain about the CIA is because they lost their file on her.

[or maybe, "but i thought i was your friend"]

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Why are they talking about this

...and not just firing the whole damn management structure and starting from scratch? How corrupt does an organisation need to be to warrant a full redo for f's sake?!?

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Happy

Congratulations, Senator Feinstein!

Now you know what the rest of us feel like. Can you hear me now? You and President Obama have trampled on the constitution until it is no longer legible. You did not want to complain about the behaviour of the Federal government and its sundry agencies untily your ox got gored. So, cry me a river! See if it will make any difference. Yes, your rights have been violated. Just imagine that you are being made safer by YOUR government. It should make you sleep like a frikkin lamb.

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Trollface

Re: Congratulations, Senator Feinstein!

"Now you know what the rest of us feel like. Can you hear me now? You and President Obama have trampled on the constitution until it is no longer legible. You did not want to complain about the behaviour of the Federal government and its sundry agencies untily your ox got gored. So, cry me a river! See if it will make any difference. Yes, your rights have been violated. Just imagine that you are being made safer by YOUR government. It should make you sleep like a frikkin lamb."

I'd say do not feed but in case you actually believe this BS I'd point out that the THE PATRIOT Act comes from GH Bush Jnr's time in office.

Your current president didn't start it but his response to put these data fetishists on a leash has been ineffective.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Congratulations, Senator Feinstein!

The "security agencies", all of them, in the US are out of control. Their atttude is "the President's only in charge for 8 years, we go on forever". They can afford to wait it out, then go on doing whatever they think is in the country's best interests...and they should know, because they are "the guardians of freedom", or some such horse manure.

It's McCarthy all over again, except now, they have resources he could only have dreamed of.

// anonymous, but not to them...

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Congratulations, Senator Feinstein!

Now you know how the rest of us feel. You and President Obama have trampled the constitution until is now completely illegible. Don't come crying to me about your folly.

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Awesome

Settings aside the fact that, if this has happened, it's a pretty big deal, one hopes that this throws into sharp relief the monsters that have been created in the CIA and NSA.

I also hope that the politicians in Washington, and indeed around the world, see in this an eerily familiar reflection.

After all, these politicians sit there and decide what information the public should and should not see, with the justification that telling the people the truth is less important than 'National Security' and 'protecting US* interests'. It's okay, the politicians will make sure everything is above board and tell the people anything they really need to know - you can trust them.

It's for your own good after all.

The way the CIA is reported to have acted in this matter** is, in effect, no different, except that they have done it one step up the chain of information; essentially deciding what information the US Government should and should not see.

For its own good . . .

The report would be classified anyway, with only carefully-vetted portions released to the public - "in the interests of US National Security". Given that, her case boils down to her being angry that someone else (the CIA) has decided they are better suited to censor the information than she is.

She might puff up and protest that she is a US Senator, elected by the people of the United States of America and trusted by them to perform these functions. In doing so, she would be missing two important points: that the people elected her a Senator, not the chair of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, and that the people get the choice between one party that wants to control what they know and another party that want to control what they know; there's not a lot of scope there.

She might say that the system of checks and balances and oversight breaks down when such things happen. Very true, but then one might reply that the warrantless search provisions of the FISA Improvements Act she supported cuts an entire arm of the Government (the Judicial) out of the process.

It is interesting to note the following, which opens her statement:

"Let me say up front that I come to the Senate Floor reluctantly. Since January 15, 2014, when I was informed of the CIA’s search of this committee’s network, I have been trying to resolve this dispute in a discreet and respectful way. I have not commented in response to media requests for additional information on this matter. However, the increasing amount of inaccurate information circulating now cannot be allowed to stand unanswered."

So, it was Sen Feinstein's preference that the people she represents and acts on behalf of (US citizens) not be made aware that a Government Agency (the CIA) was deliberately withholding and removing evidence in an attempt to hide their activities.

They have imbued these agencies with the power to ignore the constitution, circumvent and due process, allowed them to spy illegally on and act against all and sundry and then protected them by denying courts their rightful role by waving the 'National Security' card. They have lied to the people and even to other members of government (representative democracy - what's that?).

And somehow, after all that, they are still outraged that one of these agencies has ignored the constitution, circumvented due process, spied illegally, and lied about it all.

Like I said, awesome.

* - Substitute whichever country you please.

** - Starting with the destruction of the tapes.

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Anonymous Coward

The CIA Congress Wars...

Another chapter in The-Fall-of-Rome USA style. How much coverage would this have gotten without E Snowden? Wow, he must be feeling on top of the world after this... America is spiralling into decadent oblivion.

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Feinstein.

I once thought that Nancy Pelosi was the Wicked Witch of the West, but I have changed my mind. She does not hold a candle Ms. Feinstein. Let's throw water on the two of them along with Babs Boxer and see what happens.

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Re: Feinstein.

No. Your first instinct was correct. Pelosi is a cunning, disruptive and underhanded facsimile of a Human female. Feinstein is a blithering fucking idiot with advanced senile dementia.

I realize it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes, but one is a bad person, the other is 'special'. Which is the most dangerous? Don't know.

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Thumb Up

Re: Feinstein.

@Don Jefe

Your recent posts have been (rather agreeably) vitriolic. Carry on.

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Re: Feinstein.

It's insurance audit month. Once a year our insurance underwriter sends a team of annoying little snots in here and for four-five weeks they come here and invariably touch the things that plainly say 'DANGER - DO NOT TOUCH' then raise my rates because there are dangerous things people can touch in here.

It makes no difference that those things are only dangerous if you touch them and, at worst, you'll lose a finger, not die. Nor does it make any difference that those of is who have lost a finger are even more careful afterward. I argue that our rates should go down if it's just a finger because the educational value is huge.

But they don't listen, they give me a big stack of 'Issues Requiring Resolution' documents which I've never read and send off to someone else to read and come fix for me. I try to get them to just leave me out of it & just tell me how much it will cost. But they say it's required that I be informed. Assholes. It costs several hundred thousand dollars each year (at least) and all I get is a bill. It puts me in a bad mood :)

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Re: Feinstein.

I figured it was something like that. Or that you'd gone off your meds. Did that once; wasn't awesome.

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The Irony...

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Anonymous Coward

kettle & pot meet acid

Spy on a few billion people - no problem, that is what we asked for, great work.

Run an active engagement on your control group - heads must roll.

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It's an election year.

While Feinstein's own seat isn't up in November, how she responds to abuses by the intelligence community will have an effect on whether the Dems retain their senate majority and perhaps gain a house majority.

As Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she is the key figure in intelligence oversight, yet it is obvious to anyone paying attention that she has failed in her duty to protect the Constitution. As a politician, she has no recourse now but to blame the subjects of her oversight.

Because Congress has failed so pathetically and dismally to take their oversight role seriously, and has completely ignored the public interest, and because the public is now slightly more awake and know this, politicians will be scrambling to absolve themselves of their failure and blame everything on the intel community directly.

That being said, the intel community have done their level best to skirt and undermine every manner of public oversight, but that doesn't justify Congress' continual use of a slack leash.

Though it is sad that it took such a massive whistleblowing event for the public to pay attention and for the politicians to make even an obviously disingenuous gesture of caring about oversight, there is some slight hope that Feinstein's latest feigned indignation is a sign of a turning political tide, towards tightening the leash and putting some sort of meaningful limit on secret unaccountable power.

For this chance at fixing our democracy, we owe Mr. Snowden our thanks.

The next step is up to the public themselves, since, in the absence of public vigilance, our elected officials will go back to rubber-stamping every form of war and torture and spying desired by the Executive branch.

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Roo
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Re: It's an election year.

"As Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she is the key figure in intelligence oversight, yet it is obvious to anyone paying attention that she has failed in her duty to protect the Constitution."

Broadly speaking, yes, she has totally failed in her job of oversight. On the other hand speaking out is a mitigation for that, she is now shedding some light on the subject and I think Feinstein has shown some courage in doing that has placed this information in the public domain in the light of the fact that the CIA are operating without any restraint whatsoever.

That said, if I had a vote on whether to fire her from that role I would probably fire her. No point in having someone with no teeth and no handle on the CIA. This really is a 3AM job for the Secret Service at this stage, it has gone far beyond anything your common or garden Senator can realistically achieve.

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