Rep. Rogers Insists CIA Oversight Is Great… Just As We Learn CIA Hid Thousands Of Documents From Congress

from the congressional-oversight! dept

Since the Senate spying scandal story came out last week, and then went into overdrive this week with Dianne Feinstein’s public statement on the details, her counterpart in the House, Rep. Mike Rogers (a staunch defender of the intelligence community) had remained mostly quiet. He finally did an interview in which he actually admits that if the CIA broke the law, “that would be a pretty horrific situation and would destroy that legislative-CIA relationship.” Relationship? Then there’s this nugget, where he suggests that the CIA isn’t out of control and Congressional oversight is working great:

“We shouldn’t taint the whole agency. The agency is well-overseen, lots of oversight, and they’re doing some really incredible work to protect the United States of America.”

Well-overseen? Lots of oversight? Right. So, soon after he does this interview, McClatchy releases a story about how the CIA (with support from the White House) has been withholding thousands of documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee who is investigating the CIA’s torture program. This is in relation to the report that created this scandal, the supposedly scathing report that condemns the CIA for going even further in torturing people than previously reported and revealing that the torture produced no useful intelligence. And that’s without knowing what’s in these other documents.

The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.

In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee’s work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.

How’s that “oversight” looking now? When the CIA can just hang onto the really embarrassing stuff just because it wants to, you no longer have “oversight.” You have an agency that is free to coverup whatever it would like.

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Comments on “Rep. Rogers Insists CIA Oversight Is Great… Just As We Learn CIA Hid Thousands Of Documents From Congress”

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John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Sad

I think otherwise. I think that this is a welcome expansion of scope — it was looking like things were going to be so focused on the NSA wrongdoing that the rest of the spy community was going to escape scrutiny for their wrongdoing. I think this will enhance the scrutiny being applied to the NSA, and is likely to expand it to other agencies such as the FBI.

The NSA-only scandal is becoming an intelligence community scandal. And not a moment too soon.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Sad

I see it somewhat differently. Before the CIA related spying came about, most of the legislators in the house and senate didn’t, or weren’t able to, understand why the citizens were so worked up over having all their data scooped up.

After all, it’s to ‘fight terrorism’ and ‘for national security’ why would anyone object to that?

Now though, now they’re finding out that their data is being scooped up as well, that they can also be put under the microscope, and suddenly they have an interest in it.

Put simply, before this came around, they weren’t affected, so they weren’t able to understand just why the NSA’s spying was so objectionable. Now that it’s become quite clear that they aren’t immune to being spied on as well, they’re much more likely to actually care enough to deal with the spying programs.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Sad

Unfortunately, probably so. Since actually fixing the problem would take a bunch of work, and likely step on the toes of some very significant ‘donors’, they’ll likely either stall until it’s someone else’s problem, or throw together a bill that sounds good, but does absolutely nothing.

If they do put something together to limit the extent of the spying, it’ll likely be just as you said, something to exempt government employees from the spying programs, but leaves the rest of it untouched.

Anonymous Coward says:

Watch how this moron changes his tune as soon as he finds out they’ve been spying on him, too.

Unless he’s acting like this because he already he knows he was spied upon by them and are now blackmailing him into this. But he is just so eager to defend them every time, it doesn’t seem like he’s forced into doing it. He seems to want to do it himself.

Anonymous Coward says:

I can only speculate that those blindly in support of all the security agencies spying have been told that those security agencies have the goods on them and if they don’t toe the line, “evidence” will be produced to the public. Or call it blackmail, either works.

There are too many politicians quite willing to support them for it to sound otherwise. Especially when you consider that one of the early whistle blowers said he had the files on Obama in his hand, when Obama was considering running for the Senate.

This data isn’t just collected and then forgotten it exists. There is just too much temptation in doing the blackmail thing to ever ignore. More and more it looks like the statement that Gen. Alexander from the NSA gets what he wants has a reason.

Linkages such as the article here show it can’t be isolated to just one security branch. They are the shadow government that never faces election.

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