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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 8:49am


    The demo-rats are FOR torture... when they are in power at least?

    Wonder how much they will hate it the next time a repuke gets into power.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 9:09am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    mcinsand, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Violynne (profile), Apr 15th, 2014 @ 9:36am

    A witch leading a witch hunt.

    How charming.

    Run, children! Run! The government is out of control and you are next!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Baldaur Regis (profile), Apr 15th, 2014 @ 9:50am


    That's well said.

    Given that the same people who are the focus of this report are being given the power to censor and edit the report, I doubt even the blandest information will be in the official version.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 9:52am

    Re: So....

    Nope, a good number of this stuff happenda under the eye of Bush II, as well. But that doesn't preclude the fact that this is the most undemocratic government since Nixon in the US.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    TasMot (profile), Apr 15th, 2014 @ 9:52am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 10:10am

    Re: The Confused Congress Critters and other "Public Servants"

    A state of anarchy exists when no respected force is able to enforce the law, and powerful people contest to impose their will on each other and the people. Does that description seem familiar?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 11:57am

    The most obvious conclusion to draw from this contradiction is that Feinstein's real concern isn't that the CIA can't be trusted with control over this report but that she herself is not the one in control here. The fight here seems to not be about informing the public but about who has the power.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: The Confused Congress Critters and other "Public Servants"

    IT's not anarchy. The US is a pseudo-democratic oligopoly, leaning towards fascist tendencies, given the information in the past fifteen years or so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 12:48pm

    She's going to regret this

    Does she understand that she's inviting the DOJ to spy on her staff? Congressional staff have to be high on the suspect list in a case like this. Come to think of it, she would be on that suspect list, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 4:11pm

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2014 @ 10:11pm

    What was it someone said recently? The two party system in this country is two cheeks of the same ass. How true. Aunt Dianne needs to get her act together and quit echoing the blather of her paymasters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 3:19am

    Re: you got that right!

    What mcinsand says. Thanks, buddy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 6:59am

    Re: So....

    I think you need to take a bigger look and notices that it's many politicians, no matter what party they are a member of, are up to the same tricks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Babs, Apr 16th, 2014 @ 10:18am

    Re: you got that right!

    How DARE you refer to it as "Party B"! It is clearly Party A and the other is Party Z, you Z-extremist!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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