2014 March 11

Senator Feinstein Accuses CIA of Breaking the Law, Violating the Constitution


In an unprecedented move on this day, Senator Diane Feinstein (D–California), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, publicly accused the CIA of spying on committee staff members and also of removing key documents from the committee’s computer files. At issue was the committee’s investigation of the CIA’s interrogation procedures that began under President George W. Bush, and which many people, including civil libertarians and human rights activists, considered torture.

Feinstein alleged that the CIA’s attempt to thwart a Congressional investigation may have violated the separation of powers. Senator Feinstein’s move was particularly surprising given the fact that she had been a vigorous defender of the spying done by the National Security Agency in the wake of revelations arising from the documents leaked by Edward Snowden on June 5, 2013.

Cynics suggested that Feinstein tolerated spying on Americans but was outraged at spying on the U.S. Senate.

Watch Senator Feinstein’s speechhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfD5j7qXEbU

Learn more about the history of the CIA: Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (2008)

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