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.

Reader Comments (rss)

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 10:59am

    Amazing how far people can go into denialdenial when they want it.. Or when their paychecks depend on it.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:02pm

    Sad

    The sad part is, the CIA spying on staffers is now overshadowing the whole NSA spy scandal. Once the former is dealt with (and it is highly unlikely to impact the latter),, the latter will simply be forgotten.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:17pm

      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.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re: Sad

        See, my thought process is that 1). The CIAs exposure comes at the expense of the NSAs, and/or 2). The changes will only impact the CIAs policies and only in relation to dealing with Congress, leaving the NSA to keep hoovering up the data of the little people.

         

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          That One Guy (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 2:20pm

          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.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad

            I suppose. Though what we'll probably end up with is a toothless bill that changes nothing, or at best covers only Congress and its staff.

             

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              That One Guy (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:56pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

               

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:29pm

    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.


    Must have been an oversight

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:35pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:29pm

      Well we do know the government likes to doublespeak, so their definition of oversight may indeed mean looking the other way.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:40pm

      Re:

      Yeah, 9000 documents for five years. That certainly is a lot of "oversight" there. That has to be the oversight that Roger's is referring to.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:29pm

    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.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:36pm

    Cheerleading isn't oversight you dipshit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 12:38pm

    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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    Mark Wing, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 1:23pm

    Keep calm and buy our bullshit.

     

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    Lurker Keith, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 1:58pm

    New leak standards

    Looks like Snowden has successfully established a new standard for leaks:

    1) Start w/ a relatively small leak.
    2) Wait for the wrong-doer to take the bait & lie to cover their butt.
    3) Leak only what's needed to disprove the lie
    4) Leak a little more
    5) repeat 2-5 until change occurs

     

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    wec, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 2:17pm

    An Analogy: Oversight is like standing on a mountain and looking at other mountain tops, while all the interesting stuff is happening in the valley below.

     

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    GEMont (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 6:08pm

    Federal Tri-Letter Agency New Speak Dictionary, page 286645

    Over-Sight - the process of pulling wool over eyes

     

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