Turns Out New Senate Intelligence Boss Was Simply Full Of It In Claiming Feinstein Couldn't Distribute The CIA Torture Report

from the off-to-a-great-start dept

The new head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Richard Burr, has long been known as a staunch defender of anything the CIA/NSA decide to do. That's why we still find it odd that he's now in charge of overseeing them, a job that was created to try to prevent their abuses. In the past, Burr has even argued that all hearings by the committee should be held in secret, to prevent any information from ever getting out. So, perhaps it wasn't that surprising when he kicked off his new role by claiming that his predecessor, Senator Dianne Feinstein, had somehow broken all sorts of protocol in actually distributing copies of the committee's 6000+ page report on the CIA's torture program and how the CIA lied to Congress about it. Burr was demanding all the copies back, while supposedly acting furious that it had been distributed. He claimed that it "was not a valid disclosure" and that it was done without approval.

As part of that complaint, he went to the Senate Parliamentarian (basically the referee who makes the calls on all the arcane and sometimes ridiculous rules of the Senate), asking for a determination that Feinstein had violated the rules in distributing the report. Instead, he got the opposite. The Parliamentarian has noted that Feinstein did nothing wrong in distributing the report.
The Senate Parliamentarian has vindicated former Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein against charges that the California Democrat violated committee rules by sending the full, classified version of her panel’s torture report out to the executive branch.

“There’s nothing there. They’re taking no action,” Feinstein told HuffPost Tuesday.
Apparently, Burr isn't giving up, but in typical Burr fashion, he says he's going to keep what he does next a secret:
“We’ll proceed to whatever the next step is gonna be,” Burr said Tuesday. “I think there will be a next step, but it probably won’t be a public one.”
That's not particularly comforting.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 8:58am

    Basic rule of politics:

    When they shift their actions into the shadows, and try and hide what they are doing from the public(you know, the people they are supposed to be serving and representing?), it's pretty much a given that it's because they plan on doing things that people would object to if they were informed.

    'If you haven't done anything wrong...' may not be sound when it comes to the public, as the public does have an expectation of privacy, but when it's applied to those who are theoretically meant to be serving the public, it tends to be pretty accurate.

    They are meant to serve the public, if they hide their actions, it's a pretty good indication that they are failing to do so, and know it.

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

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 9:02am

    How 'bout this very public step?

    Keep it up Senator Burr, and you may discover that the public has a very public step THEY can do... it is called a "recall".

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 2:43pm

      Re: How 'bout this very public step?

      I WISHED!

      Only state and local elected are subject to recall, and AFAIK not all of them. Federal elected: NOPE! Not anywhere in the US Constitution.

      (Yes, we can vote them out at the next election. Doesn't send the same message, though.)

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 9:13am

    I never thought I'd be cheering for Feinstein but alas I gladly bit my tongue. This was one good thing she did.

    Wee need that leaked in all its unredacted glory. There may be consequences but by now I believe too many rights have been curtailed and too many lives have been lost in this 'war on terror' or whatever justified tortures.

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

    • icon
      Designerfx (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 11:38am

      Re:

      The more they push her like this, the more likely it is for exactly that to occur.

      The humor is that we'll have nobody to thank but Burr for that happening.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 10:29am

    Well we'll know what happened when Feinstein suddenly shows up in a fatal car accident.

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

    • identicon
      David, 5 Feb 2015 @ 2:57am

      Re:

      “We’ll proceed to whatever the next step is gonna be,” Burr said Tuesday. “I think there will be a next step, but it probably won’t be a public one.”

      That sounds more like suicide than a car accident. But he is probably still in deliberations.

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

  • identicon
    mcinsand, 4 Feb 2015 @ 10:32am

    a small (maybe tiny) consolation

    At least Senator Burr has an appropriate first name, once you shorten it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 10:42am

    I'm still waiting for those *unleaked* Abu Ghraib torture photos to be released -- the ones that Seymour Hersh said are far worse than the pictures that were made public a decade ago.

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

  • icon
    zeiche (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 10:42am

    Change is "good"

    We are getting a new, more compliant Senate Parliamentarian!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 11:10am

    > “We’ll proceed to whatever the next step is gonna be,” Burr said Tuesday. “I think there will be a next step, but it probably won’t be a public one.”

    WTF is that supposed to even mean? Is he publicly threatening Feinstein with the full power of the CIA/NSA and implying they'll do something "in secret" to her?

    Serious, what the actul F-?

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

    • identicon
      John, 4 Feb 2015 @ 4:04pm

      Re:

      Seriously!!! I cant imagine ANYBODY reading that as anything less than a threat. I'm no lawyer but I just cant understand how, in a world where children a facing criminal charges for drawing pictures, this kind of behavior is allowed.

      If I made the statement that I was gonna "deal" with somebody outside of the public eye I would face charges for terroristic theats.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 11:23am

    Whose watching the watchers that are watching the watchers? And does it matter?

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

  • identicon
    Agonistes, 4 Feb 2015 @ 11:52am

    Oh the irony...

    Kind of like how another Burr from US history (Aaron) killed a Founding Father (Alexander Hamilton), this guy is attempting to do the same to our rights under the US Constitution - of which Hamilton was a major contributor in it's creation and ratification.

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

    • identicon
      mcinsand, 4 Feb 2015 @ 12:12pm

      Re: Oh the irony...

      If only Burr and Hamilton could have had that duel sooner. Hamilton's Jay Treaty so angered the French that the US was not invited to the global table to discuss uniform measurement units. Rather than support another fledgling democracy, Hamilton realigned us with a royalty, and, in the process, doomed us to feet, pounds, miles, and gallons rather than an organized measurement system.

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

  • icon
    Stan (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 12:13pm

    "...won’t be a public one.”

    “I think there will be a next step, but it probably won’t be a public one.”

    Shades of "Animal House"!

    It sounds like Burr is threatening Feinstein with 'Double Secret Probation'

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

  • identicon
    Zonker, 4 Feb 2015 @ 12:50pm

    “We’ll proceed to whatever the next step is gonna be,” Burr said Tuesday. “I think there will be a next step, but it probably won’t be a public one.”
    Let me guess, does it involve Feinstein being abducted off the street and subjected to "enhanced interrogation" at a secret CIA prison until she agrees to recall all copies of the report?

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

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 12:54pm

    That's not particularly comforting.

    Nor is it particularly surprising. He's pretty blatantly, "In your face!", stating that his intention is to run interference *for* the spies and torturers, and is further intent on attacking even a US senator who wants to inform US citizens of its government's illegalities. Feinstein should up the ante and ask the parliamentarian what exactly an oversight committee's job really is.

    Burr's a traitor to his people and a toady for the usurpers, at best. A bullet would be too kind for his ilk. I'd cheer on a public lynching, though.

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

  • identicon
    Jenny, 4 Feb 2015 @ 3:30pm

    At least Senator Burr has an appropriate first name, once you shorten it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2015 @ 5:13pm

    Probably attack anyone that does not agree with him and try and get them fired and or arrested on charges of terrorism. For the crime of not agreeing 100% with whatever the NSA tells them to do.

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

  • identicon
    Stephen, 4 Feb 2015 @ 6:49pm

    I notice that the Huffington Post report referenced here goes on to add this tidbit: "Burr has additionally said he intends to return to the agency the fiercely contested internal CIA review of the torture program that supposedly aligns with the harsh conclusions of Feinstein's torture study--a document that Feinstein and her investigators have fought fiercely to keep in committee hands."

    One would think that Burr was working for the CIA rather than for the people who elected him to the Senate.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 7:30pm

      Re:

      One would think that Burr was working for the CIA rather than for the people who elected him to the Senate.

      That's because he does work for the CIA and NSA, or at least seems to think so. He did not want the position he now holds to provide oversight to the intelligence agencies, he wanted it so he could prevent oversight.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2015 @ 1:35am

    I'm sorry to digress, but honestly, being called "The Parliamentarian" must be awesome.

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

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 6 Feb 2015 @ 4:33pm

    The right creep for the job

    Hey guys, give the man his due.

    He is willing to lie and cheat and steal and murder and do whatever it takes to get his employers off the hook.

    Do you know how hard it is to find a man who is willing to lie daily in front of millions of people and simply shrug it off the next day when the lie is exposed.

    There simply are not that many men on earth with that kind of total lack of integrity, or that massive amount of disdain for the American People.

    I'll bet ye his pay-grade is classified Top Secret, or else they're paying him off by secretly shipping bullion to his off-shore vaults, because he has to be either incredibly expensive, or a completely evil an inhuman creature to do this job willingly.

    Perhaps he just hates Americans.... Burr isn't a German name is it?

    ---

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


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