CIA's Brennan: I Think We've Had Enough Transparency For The Time Being

from the oh-really? dept

The CIA's Director John Brennan spoke out about this week's release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's CIA Torture Report -- and to say he wasn't pleased about the report would be an understatement. Rather amazingly, in real-time as Brennan spoke, Senator Dianne Feinstein's staffers did a real time rebuttal/fact-check to his speech via Twitter, with each statement punctuated with the hashtag #ReadTheReport. Brennan's tap dancing concerning the report included a number of jaw dropping statements, but I wanted to focus on two specific ones. First, Brennan claimed that he's had enough transparency and he thinks this goes too far:
When asked if he supported the release of the Senate report, Brennan said he would keep his views to himself. But could he share them with the public, “in the interest of transparency?” a Wall Street Journal reporter asked. “I think there is more than enough transparency that has happened over the last couple days,” said the man who was chosen for the job by President Obama. “I think it’s over the top.”
Over the top? It's "over the top" to have the Senate Intelligence Committee -- the body designed to do oversight over the intelligence community to prevent abuse of power -- to spend years researching these issues, and then agree to only release a heavily redacted executive summary that basically details widespread and systematic practices that clearly amount to torture without naming any names or placing any direct blame? And that's "over the top"?

Second, is that after all of this, Brennan won't admit that the CIA won't go back into the torture game. Rather, he notes that if ordered to do the same thing again, he'd go right along with it:
"We are not contemplating at all getting back into the interrogation program," Brennan said.

As for the future, he said, “I defer to future policymakers.”
We've been told for a while -- including by the President himself -- that one of the reasons why they wanted this report out was to make sure that such things never happened again. It does not appear to be working.

Filed Under: cia, cia torture report, john brennan, torture, torture report, transparency


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2014 @ 2:54pm

    Taking cues from UK

    "You've had your debate." - Whitehall's Computer Smashing Thugs

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2014 @ 3:04pm

      Re: Taking cues from UK

      That's my first impression as well.

      It's infuriating because they're basically saying "Okay we've entertained you long enough. It's time to go back to sleep now and let daddy work."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2014 @ 2:55pm

    If you're still spying on Americans, there isn't enough transparency.
    If you're still sneaking favors into bills and trade agreements, there isn't enough transparency.
    If trade agreements are still happening behind closed doors, there isn't enough transparency.
    If you're still taking money from corporations, there isn't enough transparency.
    If the militarization* of unaccountable police continues, there isn't enough transparency.
    If you're saying that there's already enough transparency, you have something you're still hiding and there isn't enough transparency.

    In short, there isn't enough transparency.



    *A military person in Reddit was offended by the term Police Militarization because it paints the military in a bad light. The military is better trained and more responsible than these pretend solider cops. I would like to propose the term be changed to Police Militantization to more accurately reflect what they are becoming.

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

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 2:57pm

    Duelling Brennans

    Just a day or two ago, he said defended the agency against accusations that it had lied to those who are charged with overseeing them by saying "We take exceptional pride at speaking truth to power".

    And now he says "I defer to future policymakers."

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 3:14pm

      Introducing the all new CIA brand 'Truth'(tm)

      Just a day or two ago, he said defended the agency against accusations that it had lied to those who are charged with overseeing them by saying "We take exceptional pride at speaking truth* to power".

      *Terms and conditions may apply. 'Truth' shall be determined by the CIA or it's chosen representatives, and may not be available in all areas. 'Truth' can, in rare cases, expose illegal and/or questionable CIA activities, but careful dosage of 'Truth' can help to mitigate this side-effect. Call your local CIA representative to see if 'Truth' is right for you.

      And now he says "I defer to future policymakers*."

      * "... that way I can blame them when I follow an order that I clearly shouldn't have for moral, ethical, or legal reasons. 'I was just following orders', if it was good enough at Nuremberg, it should be good enough for me."

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 3:52pm

      Re: Duelling Brennans

      Just a day or two ago, he said defended the agency against accusations that it had lied to those who are charged with overseeing them by saying "We take exceptional pride at speaking truth to power".

      And now he says "I defer to future policymakers."


      Actually, both of those came in the same speech.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2014 @ 3:03pm

    Since day one, these 3 letter agencies have done nothing but lie. There is no oversight except in name only due to those same agencies infiltrating them with their own. It is time to clean house.

    Were transparency actually there, there would be no call for changes. But that's not the case is it? From destruction of evidence and records to stonewalling and all sorts of stuff in between, it is evident that there has been no meaningful transparency.

    Director Brennan is concerned for his own ass. He would desperately like to see this buried.

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 3:13pm

      Re:

      I wonder how many of us would like to see him hanged

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

      • identicon
        zippy, 12 Dec 2014 @ 4:43pm

        Re: Re:

        A little frontier justice might not be so out of line. If they had the threat of a noose under them, I wonder how many would change their tune?

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 4:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No no, you're not thinking big enough. To people like that, their power and authority is the most valuable thing they have that they are capable of losing.

          Put them on trial, a large, public trial, where the whole world gets to see everything, and then, when they are found guilty, toss them in jail for their crimes. It wouldn't matter when or even if they ever made it out of jail, their careers, all the power, prestige, and authority they enjoyed, all of that would be gone forever, and that would be the worst, yet most fitting, thing you could do to them.

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

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 3:08pm

    for those who view themselves as above the laws that constrain everyone else. Any accountability is too much. They view themselves as the lords of this nation and everyone below them are serfs to be exploited for their personal gain.

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

  • icon
    Scott Yates (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 3:13pm

    I would say transparency is not the problem as much as a lack of accountability. They keep on doing things like this, and lying to congress and everyone else, but none of them are in jail or even afraid.

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

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 12 Dec 2014 @ 3:35pm

    Accountability

    We've been told for a while -- including by the President himself -- that one of the reasons why they wanted this report out was to make sure that such things never happened again. It does not appear to be working.

    War crimes trials and cages for those convicted would be a remedy to any backsliding.

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

    • identicon
      David, 13 Dec 2014 @ 12:18am

      Re: Accountability

      War crimes trials and cages for those convicted would be a remedy to any backsliding.

      Do you have any idea what this kind of thing would do to the image of the U.S.A. as the axis of evil? It would be a devastating blow to the war against terror and jeopardize lots of jobs in the defense industry as well as jeopardizing the funding of CIA and NSA who have been working hard in recruiting targets for the "war against terrorism".

      In short: it won't happen. Any president or presidential candidate threatening something like that will be killed by some terrorist or mentally insane single assassin conveniently dying through heroic acts of the CIA (which might have been able to prevent this sad occurence were it not for their woeful underfunding) before being questioned.

      Same old, same old.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2014 @ 4:01pm

    The president can fire the head of the CIA or any executive agency right? What is his problem I would have fired and prosecuted this guy a long time ago. I wonder what people at each agency have on Obama that he doesn't act when serious corruption occurs?

    Is he afraid that if he halts entirely the illegal programs the next real terrorist attack will happen to America and he will be blamed because the attack got through?

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

    • icon
      beltorak (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      maybe he is afraid they will carry through a plot and frame another islamic terrorist group? that way the prez will take the blame for dismantling "the only thing keeping americans safe".

      jesus, i need medication; this week has been extremely depressing.

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

  • identicon
    bdj, 12 Dec 2014 @ 4:16pm

    There has been enough...

    There's been enough CIA, DHS, TSA, ICE, FBI, torture, wars, police shootings, domestic spying, oppressive laws, stop and frisk, etc... Oh, and we've all had enough of Brennan, Holder, Boehner, and all the rest...

    What we absolutely have not had enough of is our civil rights being respected, fair government, and honest representation.

    I don't generally like to stoop so low but... Fuck you, Brennan! You are a shameful disgrace to the office you hold and the People deserve much better than you.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2014 @ 5:01pm

    He's trying to save his own ass by lying it right off.

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

  • icon
    drjimmy (profile), 12 Dec 2014 @ 5:06pm

    Like any lowlife that hides in the dark, Brennan can't take the light, find another job.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2014 @ 7:14pm

    Really funny

    , Senator Dianne Feinstein's staffers did a real time rebuttal/fact-check to his speech via Twitter

    Check the responses of said Twitter messages. I havent had the time to view FOX on the matter but from what you can read in the responses I guess I will have a fun weekend. From a European standpoint I have to ask, how can people be so ignorant?

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

    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 16 Dec 2014 @ 8:09am

      Re: Really funny

      US news tends to be slanted according to the political slants of the outlets' owners. MSNBC cheerleads Obama, Fox is a GOP propaganda machine.

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

  • identicon
    David, 13 Dec 2014 @ 9:21am

    Enough.

    I think we've had enough Brennan for the time being. If the antique practice of ostracism were reintroduced into the U.S.A., it would be really hard to make a choice, what with all his coconspirators against the Bill of Rights. Perhaps get the backlog for the last 2500 years or so credited? Might be needed for getting the situation under control.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2014 @ 11:27am

    No brenan, we're still wondering when it will start

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 15 Dec 2014 @ 7:03am

    I think we've had enough Transparency for now

    I also think we've had enough Oversight.

    And Accountability.

    Transparency, Oversight and Accountability should be used in moderation to protect the public safety.

    (And the NSA and DoJ said: Yeah, CIA! You tell 'em!)

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


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