Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) does not like being spied on. So, who does, right? So how can this by hypocrisy? Well, it become hypocrisy like this.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) offered a full-throated defense of the government’s collection of data on billions of American phone calls, saying Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s practices have safeguarded the nation without trampling on civil liberties.
“What keeps me up at night, candidly, is another attack against the United States. And I see enough of the threat stream to know that is possible,” Feinstein said at a Pacific Council on International Policy dinner in Century City.
She pointed to a warning Wednesday about potential bombs hidden in the shoes of passengers on flights bound for the United States.
“But the way we prevent another attack – and this is tricky – is intelligence,” she said. “You have to know what’s going to happen, because it’s too late otherwise.”
Feinstein’s firm support for the NSA’s tracking program has divided some of her most ardent backers, and in recent months her popularity in California has plunged to a historic low.
During the hourlong question-and-answer session, several people questioned Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, about the boundaries of intelligence gathering and about NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who used his position to collect classified information about NSA activities that he has since made public.
Snowden, Feinstein said, had other options to serve as a whistle-blower, such as turning to her or others in the government, instead of releasing the information and fleeing to Russia. And Americans already see far more intrusion into their lives from commercial sources, she said, noting that her daughter emailed a contractor about a bathroom faucet and then started receiving messages from other contractors.
“There are all kinds of things that are going on. And for some reason, the fear of our government for a bona fide reason, which is to prevent a terrorist attack, raising this kind of concern, when there are only 22 people in our country who have access to this database and every one of them is vetted,” she said.
She defended the oversight of the program, rejecting a suggestion recently made by President Obama that the data be held by telecommunications firms, as well as legislation introduced Tuesday by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for a special committee to investigate the NSA. That, she said, would duplicate existing panels.
“That’s what we do,” Feinstein said in an interview.
At the dinner, Feinstein, recalling a recent emotional visit to the 9/11 memorial in New York, said she had only one goal: “I am really dedicated to doing whatever I can, within the law, to see that this never happens again in this country,” she said to applause.
So, spying on us little unimportant unwashed masses is good… Spying on her and her corrupt cronies is bad.
The question isn’t “who watches the watchmen” in the Beltway today. It’s “who’s watching the watchers who watch the watchmen.” The head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence publicly accused the CIA of snooping a secure computer network set up as part of an investigation of the agency’s activities during the war on terror, following up on earlier hints of a war brewing between Langley and Capitol Hill:
The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee says the CIA improperly searched a stand-alone computer network established for Congress as part of its investigation into allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program. …
At issue is whether the CIA violated an agreement made with the committee about monitoring the panel’s use of CIA computers. The CIA provided the computers to congressional staffers in a secure room at its headquarters so that the committee could review millions of pages of top secret documents.
The Washington Post has more, including Feinstein’s blunt accusation that CIA attempted to intimidate the Senate into retreating on its oversight of the agency:
The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday publicly accused the CIA of secretly removing documents from computers used by her panel to investigate the agency’s controversial interrogation program and said that an internal agency investigation of the action has been referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the activities of agency officials “may have undermined the constitutional framework” of congressional oversight.
The situation amounted to an attempted intimidation of congressional investigators, she said, adding: “I am not taking it lightly.”
Besides possible constitutional violations, Feinstein said the CIA may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, various federal laws and a presidential executive order that bars the agency from conducting domestic searches and surveillance. She said she has asked for an apology and recognition that the CIA search of the committee’s computers was inappropriate, but, “I have received neither.”
So, it doesn’t undermine the Constitution when the NSA illegally spies on average law abiding citizens who have neither broken any laws, nor even been charged with breaking any laws, but it does undermine the constitution when the CIA spied on members of Congress (who very likely have broken the law).
Perhaps the real outrage Sen. Dianne Feinstein is expressing has nothing to do with the Constitution, and everything to do with having the fact that she illegally funneled HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS into her husband’s firm being exposed by this spying. That she did this, isn’t exactly a secret, but what is, is how she managed to prevent any criminal investigation from taking place, and why the Fifth Column Treasonous Media, who knew she had done this did not make this a front page story until the public demanded a full investigation and criminal prosecution.
Though, when you have stolen that much money (perhaps as much as half a trillion dollars) who can’t you buy off? What undoubtedly troubles Sen. Feinstein is that even when you have stolen that much money, should your criminal enterprise be publicly exposed in a scandal like the CIA spying on Congress, it becomes pretty much impossible to buy off enough people to stay out of prison.
So yea, spying on us little people who have done nothing illegal is perfectly fine, spying on her, well, now we have a problem.