Dianne Feinstein Asks DOJ To Investigate Leak Of Torture Report Summary To McClatchy News Service

from the because-only-Senate-staffers-are-allowed-to-access-unauthorized-documents dept

Sen. Feinstein seemed incredibly outraged that her office was spied on by the CIA in its efforts to keep a torture report under wraps. This was noted with some attendant irony, given Feinstein’s boisterous support of the NSA’s surveillance efforts.

Now, she’s stepped into irony again, opening an investigation of McClatchy News for leaking a condensed, bullet-points-only summation of the findings hidden within the still-unreleased 6,600-page “torture report.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee has opened an investigation into how McClatchy obtained the classified conclusions of a report into the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics, the panel’s chairwoman said Friday.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she was also referring the case to the Justice Department for investigation.

“If someone distributed any part of this classified report, they broke the law and should be prosecuted,” Feinstein said in a prepared statement. “The committee is investigating this unauthorized disclosure and I intend to refer the matter to the Department of Justice.”

Unauthorized disclosure, maybe. But it’s looking more and more like the only way Americans are ever going to see the inside of the infamous report is via unauthorized channels, what with the CIA asking for redaction privileges. This is the same Senator who fought the CIA over control of this report, only now she wants to control how the information is fed to the public.

The investigation of the CIA wasn’t performed just because Washington had money to waste. Supposedly this was done in the public interest, even if almost everyone involved has done as much as they can to keep the information out of the public’s hands. It’s the kind of government no one wants: one that internalizes its investigative efforts and withholds the findings. The public is frequently treated like an unwanted side effect of governing. “Shut up,” Feinstein explained, “or we’ll make you regret ever speaking up.”

Disappointing, yes. But worse, it’s predictable. McClatchy isn’t happy.

“We are disappointed that Sen. Feinstein plans to seek a Justice Department investigation of our journalism,” said James Asher, McClatchy’s Washington bureau chief. “We believe that Americans need to know what the CIA might have done to detainees and who is responsible for any questionable practices, which is why we have vigorously covered this story.”

Asher is right about the public knowing, which is ostensibly the endpoint of investigations like these. But now that it’s all been compiled, representatives are (somewhat inadvertently) joining forces with the same agency they decried and throwing as much dirt as they can over any exposure. There’s a slim chance that much of the 480-page “executive summary” will survive the rounds of redactions headed its way. For McClatchy to release a 2-page summary is a drop in bucket compared to the voluminous whole.

The DOJ will now (possibly) start searching for yet another whistleblower, one who felt the refusal to discuss the contents beyond vague generalities was an intellectually dishonest move by those heading the investigation. But it’s even more wrongheaded for Feinstein to request an investigation into this leaked document, only a few months removed from the CIA asking the DOJ to investigate Feinstein’s staffers for their “unauthorized removal” of documents. It’s apparently OK to take “unauthorized” documents if you’re a Senator, but not so much if you’re a journalist.

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Comments on “Dianne Feinstein Asks DOJ To Investigate Leak Of Torture Report Summary To McClatchy News Service”

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mcinsand (profile) says:

Re: you got that right!

Party A is only for constitutional respect, honesty, and responsible spending when Party B is in power. The more the parties become the same, the more shrill the voices trying to convince the lemmings that there is any substantive difference. I’ve gotten to where I assume a person has subaverage intelligence if the person expresses strong loyalty to either party.

Anonymous Coward says:

I KNEW IT! Feinstein has no interest in making the torture report public and actually punishing CIA for doing torture.

All that she cares about and she has cared about so far is that they don’t spy on HER or her staff. If anything, that’s what she wants them to pay for – not for the torture itself.

Feinstein is such a corrupt hack. Kick her out of office already. She can’t remain until 2018 there. Think about how much more damage she’ll do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Considering that the “authorized” channels have so far only produced lies and deception while conducting a witch hunt on the people who intend on using those very channels, is anyone really surprised that the only real information come out in unauthorized fashion and none of the sources give a shit about “proper” channels anymore?

You reap what you sow.

TasMot (profile) says:

The Confused Congress Critters and other "Public Servants"

So we seem to be at a stand-off. Our way too highly paid high and mighty public servants have decided that the constitution just doesn’t matter. The people that they represent and serve are in an outrage because the Constitution that these representatives swore to uphold is being stomped on and nobody should care. Just the fact that there is so much hedging and hawing about eroding the edges of the Constitution should be a HUGE tipoff that something is wrong.
But no, they are offended that Snowden pointed out their duplicity and sneakiness and that the Newspaper reporters of all people are telling us about it. The big THEY are not offended that the head of ODNI, James Clapper, has admitted that he lied to Congress. No, no accusations, tarnished reputation, or need to flee to another country to stay out of jail, only the people who let the public know of the government out of control need to do that (or go to jail).
What a sad state of affairs this country is in. Let’s face it, the US Government has decided that violating the Constitution and the Geneva convention id OK to torture people AND lie about the results is OK.
It is a very sad state of affairs at this point and for the foreseeable future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Turf wars again?

One of the conspiracy theories on Snowden is that the CIA was backing him. The theory goes that each intelligence agency has its own newspaper conglomerates acting as govt. stenographers. So which secret organization does this newspaper favor? NSA or FBI?

Were the leaks given by the NSA? After all, they have the capability. Is this retaliation for the Snowden Affair?

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