Try as they might, and heck they’ve tried the past few years, the Left has been unable to create an intelligence community crisis they can use to de-fund and politically neuter the intelligence community. They thought they had the political golden goose with the Snowden matter, however, no cigar. At least not yet, but they are trying.
A somewhat indignant Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) took to the Senate floor yesterday, without full facts, and accused the CIA of tampering with Senate computers and spying on Senate staff. Erroneously citing potential violations of the Speech and Debate clause of Constitution (non-applicable in this case), among others, she took to talked about things other than allegedly tapped computer systems.
In a carefully scripted speech, Feinstein talked about Bush-era interrogation techniques and the seemingly never-ending investigation into a settled matter. Feinstein sounded a lot like former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who accused the CIA of lying and misleading Congress over the same issue. Yet, Members of Congress in both political parties have known about enhanced interrogation technique since at least late 2001 or 2002. This dog no longer hunts and the Left is running out of viable political options.
For those of you who have better things to do than decode what is happening, allow me a few seconds to attempt to begin to demystify what is afoot: the Left does not like the CIA, or just about any of the national security establishment, and it will not stop its war against it. While the Left scored significant wins during the Carter-Stansfield Turner era, as well as during the Clinton years, they want more political retribution. And, yes, consequently, the nation paid a high price for the Left’s obsession against the intelligence services.
Feinstein said it is “critical that the committee and the Senate reaffirm our oversight role and our independence under the Constitution of the United States.” If she is serious about doing that, she and House Chairman Rogers should start by taking a close look in their own stable of staffers and detailees, not over this alleged issue, but rather over oversight style, substance, and strategy. Frankly, there are too many cooks in this kitchen. Some should not even be there. Has been this way for some time.
The CIA should be praised for its work and its role in keeping the country safe, not made a political scapegoat. The Senate should do its investigation and not, as a melodramatic Republican Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) said, “declare war on the CIA.” Classy, no? Facts matter, or at least there was a time in this town when they did. The alleged report the Left wants released on enhanced interrogation issues should remained locked up, for a long time.
A serious check of this alleged spying on Congressional staff incident may uncover, as I suspect will be the case, that the Senate is trying to reign in the wrong people. Heck, this whole thing could be part inter-agency turf battle and oversight squabble. Maybe enterprising Senate staff was up to no good – there is precedent of Congressional staffers violating security clearances as well as hacking Congressional computers – and someone tried to reign them in? Whatever it is, enemies of the United States are enjoying every minute of this political theater.